David Rogers, saxophones, dagbamba talking drum; Mark Stone, African drum set, water drum, rattles, bells, body percussion, Dagara gyil xylophone; Marlene Rice, violin; Matt Pavolka, acoustic bass
David Rogers studied African drumming in Ghana for two years, and also took a liking to African fiddle music. On this CD, he weaves together an interesting and often exciting mix of styles from different countries. These seven, fairly long tracks, blend styles and rhythms with rich color. The first track, "Kanawha Girl", is inspired by Appalachian music; another mix over the centuries of Scottish and Irish folk music and African blending. Rogers on saxophone plays a Kentucky folk song with the Ghanian water drum played by Mark Stone. "Anthem" is inspired by the West African one- stringed horsehair fiddle, Marlene Rice on violin and Matt Pavolka on bass spar against a background of a swishing rattle and a talking drum. "Jump for George" has more fascinating instruments; in a delightful call and response pattern between The Ghanian buzzing spider webbed xylophone, and the violin and string bass. "Mobius Trip" goes with an African drum set, made up of a square frame drum which replaces the bass drum, a lizard skin hand drum for snare drum, and a rattle on the foot peddle instead of a hi-hat. Lay on top a humming bass and a lively Jazz tenor saxophone and violin, and we have a fine track. My two favorite tracks would be "Jump For George" and "El Sonero", a mixture of African and Spanish dance rhythms meeting the Cuban son tradition; this is uplifting and beautifully written and again uses the African drum set. This is a cleanly played, well-presented set something for the connoisseurs of world music.
by Ferdinand Maylin
New Sounds - October 2004
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