Toto Bona Lokua Cuts Loose on New CD

Toto Bona Lokua i i

The group, left to right: Gerald Toto, Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza Courtesy of Sunnyside Records hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Sunnyside Records
Toto Bona Lokua

The group, left to right: Gerald Toto, Richard Bona, Lokua Kanza

Courtesy of Sunnyside Records

Sometimes, the best plan is no plan at all. That was the philosophy behind Toto Bona Lokua, a new album that blends West-African rhythms, vocal harmonies, pop and jazz.

The musicians Lokua Kanza, Richard Bona and Gerald Toto may not be household names, but they are highly sought-after musicians who have collaborated with the likes of Harry Belafonte, Natalie Merchant and Pat Metheny. For this CD, they did something almost unheard of in today's world of over-produced recordings: they improvised.

French lawyer and former record company executive Laurent Bizot brought the three musicians into the studio, specifically asking them to be spontaneous. Each brought the basics of a song, and they took turns with solos and leading each composition. The result is a sound with the varied influences of each contributor: Bona is from Cameroon, Kanza from the Congo, and Toto is French-Caribbean.

Bizot isn't sure he'll record them together again, because he says magic like this music doesn't usually happen twice.

Purchase Featured Music

Toto Bona Lokua

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Album
Toto Bona Lokua
Artist
Richard Bona/Lokua Kanza/Gerald Toto

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.