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Hamid Drake & Bindu: Bindu (2006)

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Hamid Drake & Bindu: Bindu No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Because jazz is rooted in improvisation, it can readily incorporate other musical genres and instruments. Especially since the '80s and the emergence of so-called world music, sounds and instruments from Asia, Africa and Latin America have found a welcome home in the music. Percussionist Hamid Drake has been among those at the forefront of this fusion.

Bindu (a term in yoga that means prayer) is a mixture of jazz with Middle Eastern, African and Indian musics. The thirteen-minute "Remembering Rituals," where Drake plays frame drums and Nicole Mitchell flute, is a sound journey that lands the listener in the middle of a North African bazaar. "Bindu # 2 for Baba Fred Anderson"—a more "traditional" jazz composition, albeit in a free style similar to that of former jazz outlaw Ornette Coleman—finds the entire quartet of saxophones (Sabir Mateen, Ernest Dawkins, Greg Ward and Daniel Carter) and drums joining in a blowing and bashing free-for-all. The Middle Eastern journey resumes on a mellow tone with "A Prayer for the Bado."

So far, so good. The Indian-flavored "Meeting and Parting," with Drake on tablas, sustains an eleven-minute drone with Carter, Ward, Dawkins and Mateen improvising on top. While an enjoyable listen, Bindu is best enjoyed in portions—the parts being better than the whole.

Track Listing: Remembering Rituals; Bindu #2; Prayer for the Bardo; Meeting and Parting; Born Upon a Lotus; Bindu #1; Do Khyentse's Journey.

Personnel: Hamid Drake: drums, tabla, frame drums; Daniel Carter, Ernest Dawkins, Sabir Mateen: tenor and alto saxophone; Greg Ward: alto saxophone, clarinet; Nicole Mitchell: flute.

Record Label: Rogue Art

Style: Latin/World


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