New Reviews: January 2, 2001
Bigsmorgasbordwunderwerk is a rather remarkable album that combines
classical and ethnic musical styles into a quirky theatrical product.
Jana Losey's delicate and soothing vocalizations, albeit non-traditional
operatic vocalizations, accompany excellent instrumentation produced by the
piano, flute, whistle, keyboard, accordion, bass and drums.
Ultimately, Bigsmorgasbordwunderwerk is a highly recommended album
that appropriately expresses interesting and unique forms of contemporary
classical music with contemporary ethnic sounds.
Terra Nova is a collection of artists that have worked with
Megadrums over the past 15 years. Glen Velez,
Zakir Hussain and Megadrums founder Reinhard Flatischler, are just a few of
the featured artists. Terra Nova is a percussionists' delight.
The opening track features the unique and haunting sound of the
berimbau and didgeridoo. The rest of the album utilizes drums,
rattles, shakers, saxophones and sporadic vocals in a variety
of different languages. The experimentation of musical rhythms
is quite evident. World jazz and percussion styles appropriately
define the music on Terra Nova. Likewise, percussion techniques
from all over the world directly influence the musical structure and tone.
Moreover, the rhythms of the instruments seem to fuse effortlessly together
in a unique manner that results in an exceptional listening adventure.
Terra Nova is a "must-have" for fans of world percussion, world jazz and world fusion.
SOUNDS TRUE MUSIC
Breathing Rhythms combines various percussion instruments with a
pan flute and cello to create an amazing hour of drumming meditation.
Glen Velez performs sporadic rhythmic vocalization techniques, in
conjunction with the subtle, yet noticeable drumming rhythms. A complete
explanation on rhythmic vocalization is included in an informative booklet,
along with the instruments that were used in the recording. An incredible
amount of drumming skill is plainly displayed on the album's six tracks. A
drumming master like Glen Velez has the ability to create an extraordinary degree
of rhythmic complexity that other percussionists strive to achieve. Fans of Glen
Velez, and percussion music in general, will definitely be pleased with Breathing Rhythms.
Matthew J. Forss is currently a full-time student at Concordia University-Mequon,
Wisconsin, in the process of transferring to Lakeland College in Sheboygan,
Wisconsin. He is going to major in Biology and minor in Ethnic & Gender Studies.
In 1998, He began collecting musical instruments and CDs from around the World.
His main area of study is in traditional and contemporary ethnomusicology of
various cultures from around the world. In November 2000, he accepted the
position of writing world music CD reviews for this site.