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Drumming CD Reviews

Great Drumming CDs, some with comments!

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Askill, Cleworth, Lagos, Piper

Drumming CD Reviews

Taiko

 

 

 

 


Billy Martin & G. Calvin Weston

Drumming CD Reviews

Percussion duets

Dur 55.24 / 17 tracks / 1995

Amulet Records

Perc Pick: Juju fruit

Instruments: Drum set,

An album recorded by two drummers, Billy Martin being 1/3 of Martin of Medeski, Martin, & Wood. Basically this Cd is a collection of pieces both composed and in-the-moment which centre around two drummers on two drumsets and on electronic drums. There is a variety of drumming styles, however the album is characterised by groove. The recording is pretty much straight from the mics, there has been very little studio trickery or polishing, I find this very refreshing. Both drummers are very accomplished and creative players and their journey weaving in and out of each other is full of twists and turns. This is a very enjoyable album for drummers or anyone who is able to listen to drums on their own. My only complaint is that the album is very short

 


Dhol Foundation

Drumming CD Reviews

Big Drum Small World

Dur 63:52 / 12 tracks / 2001

www.shaktirecords.com www.dholfoundation.com

Perc Pick: Drummers' Reel, Healing with Turmeric

Instruments: Dhol, Manjira,Dholak, Pakhavaj, duff, Halgi, Kanjira, Tabla, Algozey, Tumbi. Album based around the mighty Dhol Drum from Punjab in Northern India. Johnny Kalsi's Dhol Foundation based in the UK is probably one of the world's premier Dhol drumming entourages featuring up to 200 players. This album also features the wonderful Voice of Natacha Atlas. Johnny is probably best known for his work with Afro Celt Sound System, Peter Gabriel and Trans Global Underground.

This is an excellent album of live playing mixed with traditional Indian and contemporary instrumentation. It has a dance feel throughout. All the instrumental playing on this album is without editing or looping Johnny tells me. A remarkable feat when you hear the complexity, speed and accuracy of the playing. For my nerdy drummers' ear I would prefer to hear more percussion-only on the CD but this is a highly recommended purchase if you want to get in touch with this drum which, although having been around for centuries, is only now drawing the closest attention from percussionists around the world.


Different Drums Of Ireland

Drumming CD Reviews

Different drums

Dur 16.25 / 5 tracks / 1998

www.differentdrums.co.uk

Perc Pick: Gavotte

Instruments: Bodhran, Lambeg, Djembe, Tabla, darabouka These guys are friends of mine so I'd better be careful what I say! Different drums came about following a visit of Kodo to N Ireland many years ago. Starting as a cross community exercise, thy now form a 4 piece global touring outfit. They use both the Bodhran and Lambeg drums which in N Ireland are seen to be the Green and Orange or Catholic and Protestant drums respectively. Favourite Irish band of President Clinton, frequent Whitehouse visitors and regulars on the US Festival circuit. The album features excellent playing of both drums and use of the Irish Uilleann pipes and whistles.


 

Different Drums Of Ireland

Drumming CD Reviews

A new Day Dawning

Dur 16.25 / 9tracks / 2002

www.differentdrums.co.uk

Perc Pick: Biddy McDole

Instruments: Bodhran, Lambeg, Djembe, Tabla, darabouka

 

Different Drums of Ireland's first full length CD. A unique collection of tunes that come from or are about N Ireland, at home or in the wider context and all given the individual Different Drums treatment. An excellent and original piece of work but then I'm biased as I'm part of the group now :)

 

 

 


Drum Army

Drumming CD Reviews

Wants You!

Dur 39.40 / 8 Tracks / c1999

www.MP3.com/drumarmy

Perc Pick:

Instruments: mostly drum set plus loops My first ever purchase off the internet! A cheeky collection of rhythm-based pieces delivered in a tongue in cheek manner. Some good ideas developed to varying degrees and with variable success. Great samples from wherever they came. Some of the playing is very good, some is more mediocre. I see this as a fun CD (DAM CD), if that's your thing, go for it!

 

 


Drummers of Burundi

Drumming CD Reviews

Drummers of Burundi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hands On'Semble

Drumming CD Reviews

Tala Mala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hands On'Semble

Drumming CD Reviews

Shradhanjali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Eitetsu Hayashi

Drumming CD Reviews

Haru

 

 

 


Eitetsu Hayashi

Solo, Live in warehouse 1982-


Harald Weiss

Drumming CD Reviews

Trommelgeflüster

Dur 38.29 / 2 Tracks / 1983

ECM records

http://www.ecmrecords.com/ecm/artists/571.htm Perc Pick: Part 1

Instruments: everything including the Kitchen sink

I heard extracts from this album first in 1986 and thought it was the strangest thing I had ever heard, now I love it! This is niche-market stuff, but I am very glad that I visited this particular niche. Harald plays the entire album solo and I believe in one take. His instrumentation includes drum set, gongs, metallophone, steel pan, templeblocks, crotales, voice and more.

Both songs on the album (23 & 15 minutes) have a wonderful style of composition and cover a huge range of dynamics and timbres. Harald is given to muttering and reciting non-sensical phrases which add to the esoteric nature of the CD. The pieces are constantly on the move and are apt to change direction suddenly without warning. This is a strange album but it is wonderful, if you feel like reaching out into something a bit more challenging in the percussion line, I heartily recommend Trommelgeflüster, it's class!


Harem

Drumming CD Reviews

Rhythm Colour

Dur 46.28 / 12 tracks / c1998

www.megamuzik.com

Perc Pick: Yasar

Instruments, Darbouka, djembe , Tabla, Riqq, Bendir, Davul, Zills

A friend bought this for me in Turkey and haven't seen it available elsewhere unfortunately. Excellent album based on Turkish, mid-eastern and North African percussion, It also features tabla. The pieces are all original compositions, and are highly structured, demonstrating the wonderful range of sounds and playing styles of these instruments. I would recommend this album highly to anyone interested in listening closely to the percussion music of the Middle East.


 

 

Harem II

Drumming CD Reviews

Time of Rhythm

Dur 76.45 / 16 tracks / c2000

www.megamuzik.com

Perc picks: Dub-The-Buka, Nirvana solo

Instruments Darbouka, djembe , Tabla, Riqq, Bendir, Davul, Zills

This album is a significant departure from the previous 'Rhythm Colour' album. To my ear, the musicians have taken the tracks from the first album, chopped them into loops, added dance beats and perhaps added a few overdubbed pieces. Although I do like to hear contemporary 'world beat' music and am guilty of working in this medium myself, I find this a long variation on a limited number of themes, several of the tracks are remixes of tracks already on the album.

Where there is 'straight' playing it is of the highest calibre, however the heavy reliance on the looped structures of the songs could make this disappointing to anyone who buys it expecting an authentic treatment of Turkish, Middle Eastern and North African Percussion rather than an album aimed at DJs. Some bits of it really do kick!


Joji Hirota

Drumming CD Reviews

Rain Forest Dream

Dur 50.56 / 8 tracks / 1990

Saydisc

No website given

Perc Pick Demon Dance

Joji is a Japanese percussionist, now based in London. I have seen Joji perform on a number of occasions in various groupings. His liner notes mirror his lyrical style of playing and he explains the pieces beautifully in the notes. Although originally a taiko player, his percussive arsenal goes around the globe and his style of playing and composition reflects that. What is also reflected is the sensitivity and respect for space in his compositions. I have found this to be a trait among Taiko players, which may seem strange but big drums can very quickly become overpowering unless played with discipline, focus and a sense of proportion, this same thought and focus is very apparent throughout this CD. Tracks range from full-on Taiko pieces to esoterica using bowed Chinese temple bowls and gongs. An excellent CD, well played and well recorded, conjuring up many images for the listener.


Joji Hirota

Drumming CD Reviews

The Gate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kodo Get their own section!

Drumming CD Reviews

Mondo Head

 

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Ibuki (great)

 

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Warabe (too much flute)

 

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Live at Acropolis (every home should have one)

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Blessings of the Earth (good)

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Best of II (1994-1999) (Very good)

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Best of- (1993) (very good)

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Sai-So (Excellent in parts)

 

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Tsutsumi (very good)

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Heartbest drummers of Japan (good average recording quality)

 

 

 

 


Kodo

Drumming CD Reviews

Yosuke Yamashita in Live (poor)

 

</kodo>


Mamadou Sidibe & inhabitants of Tambacounda

Drumming CD Reviews

Village Djembe Drumming

Dur 51.59 / 15 tracks / 1999

www.MP3.com/sidibe

Perc Pick: N'Gri

Instruments: Djembe, Dunun, Donso Ngoni

An assortment of authentic field recordings from Senegal, some ceremonial and some performed in the bush. The standard percussion ensemble on this recording is djembe and dunun, these can be accompanied by singing and a beautiful stringed instrument called a donso ngoni. As with the Mamady Keita Cds, the rhythms are irresistible although the performances are obviously in-the-moment rather than in-the-studio. Although the limitations of the source recording equipment are apparent (sounds like a single pair of mics) the recordings capture the authenticity and spirit of the occasions and the locations. Purchasing Cds like this help to support the villages in question and I'd encourage you to do so if you like what you hear at MP3.com. This is the real thing!


Mamady Keita

Drumming CD Reviews

Nankama

Dur 59.13 / 11 tracks / 1992

Fonti Musicali

(no website available)

Perc Pick: Sunu - diansa

Instruments: Djembe, Dunun, Sangban, Kenkeni, Djabara, Krin

One could almost say verbatim about this album as the earlier Wassolon CD, awesome playing from a drummer who is regarded as the Grand Master of the Djembe, fabulous speed and articulation with soloing strategies that work with, against and through the stable base rhythms. It is difficult as a percussionist to hear recordings such as those by Mamady without needing to play along on your knees or whatever comes to hand. From my experience (and I am by no means an expert in WA music), any Cd by Mamady Keita represents the excitement of the firecracker West African style. In my opinion this CD is just about a better listen than Wassolon. This is a natural recording without any effects or studio trickery - awesome stuff


Mamady Keita& Sewa Kan

Drumming CD Reviews

Wassolon

Dur 62.11 / 11 tracks / 1989

Fonti Musicali

No website available

Perc Pick:Soli

Instruments: Djembe, Dunun, Sangban, Kenkeni, Djabara.

Mamady Keita, one of the foremost djembe players in the world today, considered by many to be a Grand Master, is featured here with band Sewa Kan playing music of the Mandingo Tradition. This is blistering stuff. Super-fast and super-accurate playing with superb articulation of the sounds of the instrument. Performed alongside the voices and rhythmic instruments of the West African tradition these come together to give such a heady blend that it is impossible not to feel the desire to move to it.

Drum Circle regulars will recognise many of the rhythmic patterns instantly, I expect that few will hear this quality of playing at their local gathering. This is a naturalistic recording without effects or overdubbing. - Marvelous - enjoy


Master of the forest

Drumming CD Reviews

Mystique D'Afrique

Dur 46.34 / 12 tracks / 1992

No Website available

Perc Pick Soli.

Instruments Djembe, Dunun, Sangban, Kenkeni, Djabara, Krin

More Firecracker stuff from this afro/american CD. The CD features an impressive gathering of African and US musicians such as Mohammed Sano, Yamoussa Camara, Paolo Mattioli, Charmaine Hubbard and Brad Dutz. The Cd cover advertises high energy West African dance rhythms and you won't be disappointed, this is pretty full on for most of the tracks, very reminiscent of Mamady Keita's CDs and for WA music fans and players, that can't be a bad thing. Great CD, highly recommended


MegadrumsDrumming CD Reviews - Coreana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Megadrums Drumming CD Reviews- Terra Nova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Mickey Hart

Drumming CD Reviews

Supralingua

 

 

 

 

 


Mugenkyo

Drumming CD Reviews

Mugenkyo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nihon Daiko

Drumming CD Reviews

Japanese Drums

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oedo Sukeroku Taiko

Drumming CD Reviews

Les Tambours de Tokyo - The Drums of Tokyo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pete Lockett & Joji Hirota

Drumming CD Reviews

From Taiko to Tabla (Live)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pete Lockett's Network of Sparks Feat Bill Bruford

Drumming CD Reviews

One

Dur 62.55, 10 Tracks, 2001

Melt 2000

www.petelockett.com

Perc Pick Full On

Instruments

Great album by one of Europe's finest percussionists. The Album Features Bill Bruford whom proggers will know as the drummer for Yes and Genesis at times, also playing are the mighty Johnny Kalsi from the Dhol Foundation on Dhol, Nana Tsiboe on djembes and congas and Simon Limbrick on mallets. Given that one of Pete's mainstays is the tabla, it is unsurprising that the music is complex and explosive. I have picked the final track 'Full On' as the pick as it features Johnny Kalsi, the phenomenal Dhol player and because it brings everyone together and has one of the most complex yet memorable passages I have yet to encounter to open and close the piece. The instrumentation is even more varied than the personnel and includes instruments from Japan, Africa, India, Middle East and Latin America. Pete displays incredible skill and speed on many instruments, but I really liked Voices Apart which is a solo for tar (a framedrum) and voice where Pete recites the Indian phonetic system (bols) over the top of and along with the rhythm Pete explains part of this rhythm on Eric Stuer's superb Rhythmweb site. So If you're into 7/5, top grooves well played and well recorded visit Pete's Site. I do have one request for Pete, I would have liked to have heard a duet between Pete on his Floor Kit and Bill on the main kit, maybe next time.


Portland Taiko

Drumming CD Reviews

Making Waves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


RMMP - Trax from the net Volumes 1 & 2

Vol 1Dur, 12 tracks, 2001

Vol 2 Dur?, 12 tracks, 2001

Perc Pick James Varty, George Lawrence.

Instruments - Drum set and percussion

This Cd is a compilation from some of the subscribers to the Rec.Music.Makers.Percussion newsgroup. The version of the album which I have unfortunately does not play CD2, so I am unable to review that one. Given that a public drum forum attracts players of all abilities and musical directions, there is a wide variation in the music and playing quality on Vol 1. Before receiving the CD, I had been expecting to get countless drum solos, however there is only one on Vol1 and I have chosen that as the one of the Perc picks because technically I think it is extremely well executed and shows a lot of thought toward structure and strategy, James' kit is very accurately and thoughtfully tuned, it is well recorded (although the hats are a bit too close for my taste), It's a great listen. The other is George Lawrence's track and it has been chosen for entirely different reasons, George is a professional player and many wannabe pros would well to listen to how George does his thing. Think Pocket!

The other tracks are taken from bands or recording projects and provide an enjoyable eclectic mix, It is strange to listen to an album and be able to recall details and personal impressions, sometimes even a face for individuals who sometimes feel like family. Several of the contributors to this Cd are also contributors to the drumset section which in itself is almost entirely donated by RMMP subscribers. Props to James and George, and to everyone else who had stuff ready for inclusion and to Jeff Speegle for pulling it together.


Rocky Maffit

Drumming CD Reviews

Cd with stunning book Rhythm & beauty, so good it gets a mention in the CD section!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Steve Reich and Musicians

Drumming CD Reviews

Drumming

Dur 56.43 / 4 tracks / 1987

Elektra / Asylum

No website available

Perc Pick: Part 4

Instruments: Bongos, Marimbas, Glockenspiels

This has become standard listening for music and drum students it seems. The entire album is based around a single 12/8 pattern XXX-X-XXX-X-. Part 1 starts with a single beat played on bongos with sticks, then two then three and builds to four drummers playing all 12 beats then reduces back down to a single beat, Part two transfers this pattern to 3 marimbas played by nine players, Part three moves to three Glockenspiels with four players and Part four is all together. The effect is extremely soothing and is very water like, the pattern although feeling standardised, is continually changing by very small degrees. In my opinion, I find it a bit too introspective for everyday listening, I have it heard described as 'like watching paint dry' which I disagree with, however there is certainly a time and place for this album and when you are in that place at that time, it is beautiful.


Tabla Beat Science Drumming CD Reviews- Tala Matrix The rhythm of Indian music is geared to long cycles, often 16 beats. These recurring cycles are known as a tala. Each tala has a different point of emphasis, which can give rise to an almost limitless amount of possibilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Taufiq

Drumming CD Reviews

Rhydhun

Dur 49.14 / 9 tracks / 2000

CMP records

www.silvascreen.co.uk

Perc Pick:Ear to there

Instruments: Taiko, Djembe, Cajon, Berimbau, Tar, Duff, Chanda, Kafimba, Manjira, Naubat, Chundka, Udu, Gongs, Talking drum, Vudka

Taufiq is the brother of Zakir Hussain and the son of Ustad Allarakha, both of whom appear throughout the album. This recording was made only a few days before the death of Ustad Allarakha and the poignancy of this is not lost when listening to the album. Although featuring Zakir Hussain, one of the world's best known tabla players and Shankar on violin, this album does not concentrate on Indian music, although the themes are ever-present. The Cd includes many instruments from around the globe, Taiko, djembe, cajon, berimbau, tar, & electronica are all represented, the use and variation of time signatures is excellent. This album had instant appeal and repeat-button worthiness, however I find now that it does not hold the depth of interest for me that it once did, perhaps it's a little clinical, melodic lines are too obvious or maybe I've over heard it. I know certainly that the use of plastic-skinned djembes is an instant turn-off for me no matter how well played. With that said there are some wonderful grooves and blends and I am glad that I have it in my collection


Thai Elephant Orchestra

Drumming CD Reviews

Yes, percussion played by Thai elephants - It's great!! These elephants have been 'saved' from ill health / danger and live on a reservation where they are protected. The instruments are specially constructed to take elephant-force playing and have a surprising non-elephantine sound to them. I have put this on in the background when friends have been at mine and they don't believe it's elephants. If you like the sound of the gamelan then you'll love this. There are a couple of non-elephant tracks towards the end as well as some tracks of the elephants trumpeting (would that be singing ) and playing synthesisers. My favourite has to be the elephants playing the harmonicas, apparently they enjoy it so much they don't want to stop.

 


Van Leve

Dur 31.17 / 10 tracks / no date

Poli disc

No website abailable

Perc Pick: Kunde

Instruments: Ka, Gros Ka, Bongo & Misc percussion

Hailing from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, Van Leve produce a fabulous high energy djembe-like sound from the barrel construction bucket shaped drums called Ka. The Rhythms are fast accurate and infectious. This is a Cd that I got from a Friench friend who lived in the Caribbean and it came to me minus liner notes so I have little information to impart apart from the fact that it is rocking! It is reminiscent of some of the West African djembe playing but without the accompaniment of the trio of dunun, sangban and kenkeni. One of the members of the group sings a couple of the songs, but he is definitely a better drummer than singer, however this is the only example I have of this style of playing from this part of the world and authenticity is the key. Great Cd, far too short!


Various

Drumming CD Reviews

Percussions D'Afrique

Dur 53.44 / 11 tracks / no date

Productions Sunset, France

No website available

Perc Pick Were were

Instruments Balafon, Djembe, Dunun, Sangban, Kenkeni

One of those infuriating Cds where the liner notes advertise other albums by the same company rather than giving you details of who is doing what etc, Grrr. Fortunately, they did give track names and instrumentation on the outer cover. This a series of field recordings made in Cameroon and Senegal and features the balafon throughout (although it sounds like an amadinda to me sometimes). The playing is not so intense as some of the other African field recordings reviewed on the site but It is very enjoyable none the less. If you listen in headphones, you are liable to dizzy spells as the stereo mic must have been hand-held and does move around somewhat. Good Cd of authentic rhythms performed in authentic settings. Listen out for the hocketing on the balafon (hocketing is playing in between someone else's beats, see section on Amadinda)


Various

Drumming CD Reviews

The World of Drums & percussion Vol II

CMP

 

 

 

 

 


Various

Drumming CD Reviews

Between Heaven & Earth (Gamelan - beautiful)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Various

Drumming CD Reviews

Soul of Percussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Various

Drumming CD Reviews

World Percussion

Dur 67.22 / 32 Tracks 1999

Music Masters

www.vci.co.uk

Perc Pick: Too many

Instruments: Too many to list

An excellent compilation of traditional, contemporary and some orchestral percussion from the four corners of the globe - as the sub heading of the album states "big beats from Bali to Brazil and Cuba to the Cameroon". If you are interested in hearing many of the world's different styles of percussion either as an introduction or just as a collection of related pieces then you should check this CD out. Very well recorded and produced, it flows well for such an eclectic composition. This is not an expensive album and I highly recommend it for its representativeness. Average track length 2.5 minutes.





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