08 February 2010

Monday's mp3: Leakey World Percussion

CD REVIEW
Jerry Leake: Cubist (Rhombus)


As a sometimes-percussionist myself, I have a soft spot for pure rhythm CDs when well executed. Jerry Leake's Cubist took a couple of listens to grab me, you know...wading through the distracting melodic stuff and chanting and all. But grab me it does. While it's as much a jazz-fusion album as one focused on global rhythms, the creative orchestration of a broad array of instruments and beats makes for fascinating listening.

Is "Plan 9" the sound of an alien invasion of Morocco? Maybe. "Caldera" runs through several Latin folk and jazz motifs, "Chrysalis" and other tracks feature tabla and other Indian flavors, and Africa comes through on "Smoke" and several other tracks. For reasons I can't clearly articulate, however, I find one of the most compelling tracks to be the counting song "Geo" -- which sounds like a mashup of the Futurama theme, Balinese kecak, and an instructive Sesame Street tune. Boston-based Leake and his collaborators push the concept of world percussion and they push the listener into challenging and rewarding new musical realms. 

Jerry Leake: Geo
from the album Cubist

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