by Nigel Campbell, Caribbean Beat Magazine

The Dominican Republic has blessed the world with the highly popular merengue and bachata genres of music. Native son and guitarist Yasser Tejeda has blended these and other elements of traditional Afro-Dominican music — palo, gaga, perico ripiao — with modern jazz, funk, and rock to create a fusion that is both danceable and indicative of the majesty of New World African music. On the eleven-track album Kijombo, the music sails through moods and tendencies that form a study of how almost ancient and sacred sounds and rhythms can be applied to modern tropes to elevate the whole. The blurb from the record label says the album represents “a journey through a history of Dominican musical resilience.” The percussive pulse, that African heartbeat, is not replaced by electric impulses, but supplemented by ideas and song lyrics that speak to the retention of native excellence. This album is an ideal starting point for new musical discovery.

© MEP Publishers | Playlist (Mar/Apr 2020) | Music reviews | Caribbean Beat Magazine

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