The Guardian Music – Roberto Fonseca: YO – review
His third studio album provides confirmation that the 36-year-old Cuban pianist is one of the most gifted, adventurous spirits of his generation. A lyrical approach recalling Herbie Hancock and Abdullah Ibrahim persists, but YO also explores Cuban-African connections with guests such as kora player Sekou Kouyaté , percussionist Baba Sissoko and Mali singer Fatou Diawara. Elegant melodies such as “Bibisa” and “JMF” develop into intense instrumental sparring, while Fonseca touches on funk and electronica (“80’s”), and laces compositions with poetry (an overexcited Mike Ladd on “Mi Negra Ave Maria”). By turns playful and passionate, Yo boasts poise and experimentation in equal measure.