Mofongo - Jungle Fire

from the album Jambu (2017)

Once upon a time, a lady friend and I were cruising the beach towns of Puerto Rico's west coast in a rented convertible.  One rainy afternoon, we stumbled into a hole-in-the-wall joint for some food and booze.

Ordering mojitos was easy, but the menu was unfamiliar to me.  I asked our waitress for a recommendation.  Soon after, I was treated to mofongo, which consists of mashed plantains cooked with loads of garlic, onions, and olive oil.  It was smothered in a light red sauce and chucks of tender, fresh local fish.  I still dream about that meal...

Needless to say, just the title of the song Mofongo by the Los Angeles Afro-Latin Funk Jam ensemble Jungle Fire started me salivating.  After a few dozen listens, I am emailing a festival organizer friend to see if he can bring them to town.

It would be easy to equate this large ensemble, multi-layered instrumental with Afrobeat.  But that would be wrong.  The drums evoke latin tropical stylings rather African poly-layers.  The horn arrangement provides a structured, big city sound.  The synthesizer and bass riffs are total funk.  The lead guitar is pure L.A.

I have downloaded this entire album, knowing that it will have its moment in the sun at a pool party this summer.  Maybe I'll make some mofongo...

Click Here to listen to Mofongo.