Thurman Barker: Strike Force (2004)
So I was excited to receive Strike Force by the Thurman Barker Percussion Quintet. I was even more pleased to hear the contents of the album, which are endlessly inventive and involving. The quintet plays everything from drums to vibes, marimbas, and xylophones. The layering of instruments makes for a fascinatingly spacious depth of sound, with the rolling thunder of tympanis bouncing chattering xylophones off their back. This is the type of music that is equally enthralling whether pumping from a turned up stereo system or played back on headphones, where you can hear the intricacies of all the moving parts.
Strike Force is an endlessly shifting and spinning album that never slows down enough for monotony to catch it. Just when the band gets locked pounding out a groove, an arresting theme emerges, sending them off to new vistas. The disc is a tour de force of imagination, combining power and finesse in equal measure.
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Track Listing: Prologue: Marimba Solo; A Rise; Third World Solution; Trap City; Hi Hat Heaven; Jinks; Third World Solution; Manhattan Junction; Third World Solution; Rise And Shine; Cymbalist And Tom; A Drummers Playground; Tympani Madness.
Personnel: Brian Carrott: vibes, marimba, tom toms; Eli Fountaine: marimba, tympani, cowbell, bass drum; Wilson Moorman: xylophone, tympani, tom toms; Ray Mantilla: bongo drums, congo drums, gong; Thurman Barker: trap drums, marimba, tympani, tom toms.
Record Label: Up Tee Productions
Style: Fringes of Jazz