LIVE REVIEW: Roberto Fonseca Trio @ Sage Gateshead (16.04.16) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Roberto Fonseca Trio by Danay-Suarez

Having run directly from the mind-expanding Terence Blanchard gig in Hall One I was in need of some serenity. Luckily, in the cosy surrounds of Sage’s Hall Two, I found the warm embrace of melodic Cuban piano. With an 11pm start I’ll admit to almost succumbing to the soporific lilt of gentle stickless drumming, smooth bass and the flowing tinkling of Roberto Fonseca’s ivories (or ethical ivory substitute I presume).

As a member of the Buena Vista Social Club, expectations were high, many an enjoyable meal had been eaten with their album in the background. Thankfully my expectations were met and exceeded.  A charming man, he and his trio played with smiles on their faces and in their fingers, the music moved from jazz with an Afro-Cuban feel, to Afro-Cuban with a jazz feel, if you know what I mean. The culmination of which was a sterling attempt to teach the rhythmically challenged Gateshead crowd some Latin beats. Obviously I got it perfectly first time…but for those who messed up salvation was on its way as the boys encored with some powerful, quick and invigorating classic Cuban playing to leave the enraptured audience wanting more.

I had forgotten the time, my tiredness and the fact I wasn’t in Havana, thanks to the wonderful drumming of Ramsés ‘Dynamite’ Rodriguez and simply perfect Yandy Martinez on five-string and double bass, who allowed Señor Fonseca to showcase his breathtaking skills. Sombreros Cubano en el mestro!

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