Richard Bona & Reginald Policard | Melancolia and Encouentro Theme Review
by Illiam Sebitz
“Melancolia” and “Encuentro Theme” are two standout singles that exemplify the fruitful collaboration between Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Reginald Policard and Grammy Award-winning bassist and multi-instrumentalist Richard Bona.
“Melancolia” is a masterclass in the fusion of distinct musical traditions. With Policard’s deft touch on the piano and Bona’s ethereal vocal lines, the melody unfolds without lyrics yet speaks volumes. Drawing from Caribbean, African, and traditional Smooth Jazz influences, the track presents a study in rhythm and melody that will engage the discerning ear. The textural richness is further enhanced by the contributions of Aaron Lebos on guitar, Ludwig Alfonso on drums, and Yoel Delsol on percussion. Policard’s solo shines with melodic inventiveness and a textured palette, making way for Lebos’ fluid, jazz-influenced guitar lines. This track expresses an authentic synthesis of diverse musical idioms, resulting in a piece that’s as emotionally evocative as technically impressive.
The journey continues with “Encuentro Theme,” an exemplar of Latin rhythmic structure fused with Smooth Jazz influences. The track is anchored by a 2-3 Son Clave rhythm, a hallmark of the Mambo style, creating an engaging rhythmic framework. Bona’s wordless vocal theme soars over this rhythmic foundation, exhibiting his exquisite timbre and accent. Policard’s compositional style shines here, with each section of the composition offering intriguing parts and highlighting the ensemble’s exceptional musicianship. Of note is Quintana’s expressive guitar work, which channels a Santana-esque warmth and lyrical distortion, compellingly contrasting the Latin and Jazz elements. The ensemble also features Jean Caze (trumpet), Ludwig Alfonso (drums), Teddy Mulet (trumpet, trombone), David Fernandez (saxophone), Sammy Figueroa (percussion), and Edwin Bonilla (congas, timbales), each contributing their unique musical voices to the piece.
In conclusion, “Melancolia” and “Encuentro Theme” are more than mere music pieces—they are aural experiences that transport the listener across musical landscapes, where cultural boundaries blur, and rhythms resonate. They are a testament to the musical brilliance of Policard and Bona, their mastery of their respective instruments, and their ability to seamlessly blend various musical styles. These tracks serve as a beacon for the future of world music, where cross-cultural exchanges lead to creative innovation and unity.
Melancolia and Encuentro Theme
Release Date: February 24, 2022
Release Date: June 2, 2023
About the author
Born and raised in a picturesque European village, my fondness for music began during my formative years, when the charismatic tones of the recorder first filled the halls of my primary school. This early fascination escalated into my lifelong pursuit of embracing the melodious charm of the flute; I have even spent time refining my skills at a music conservatoire. As a seasoned music connoisseur, I find myself captivated by the multifaceted world of music. I enjoy writing music reviews to better enable me to explore genres as diverse as world, rock, jazz, classical, folk, and film music, each offering a unique auditory journey that enriches my life and intellect.
In my spare moments, you'll likely find me meticulously crafting my latest woodworking project, sharpening my skills with flute etudes, or inventing tales of fantasy through the art of creative writing. My eclectic interests and expertise harmonize to create a symphony of passion and curiosity that resonates within every aspect of my life as a music enthusiast.