If you’re a percussion enthusiast, or perhaps enjoy tapping your fingers on the kitchen table every so often and thought you’ve heard every world beat and Afro-Cuban conga lick there is to offer, - then you might consider checking out Chinese master percussionist Yim Hok-Man. Here, the Chinese conservatory trained rhythmic ace takes you on a whirlwind tour of Oriental style rhythms with Poems Of Thunder
Newly released and beautifully recorded for NAXOS’ entry into the world music market, this recording provides a stylized view of Chinese percussion practices and techniques for soloing, and within the realm of traditional Oriental motifs and orchestrations. Yim Hok-Man performs “Drum Music” from various regions of China and it’s various sects or tribes as he utilizes various indigenous instruments large and small. Throughout, Yim Hok-Man demonstrates remarkable discipline whether pounding a large kettle-like drum with ritualistic precision or syncopating complex strokes into meaningful and somewhat tuneful patterns. Mr. Hok-Man also engages in a little call and response with a large ensemble on the piece titled, “The Garden Of Hundreds Of Flowers” - featuring gorgeous Oriental themes, subtle interludes and ferocious unison lines with the instrumentalists. With “The Lion That Has Just Woken (Cantonese Music)”, master Hok-Man adds a touch of whimsy via his deft mallet work on a high pitched set of vibes while also steering the ensemble through tightly integrated patterns and themes. Yet there’s much more to be found within the body of these eight thoroughly interesting pieces. No doubt, Yim Hok-Man is a sagacious master of Oriental percussion as this recording offers a glaring perspective of Chinese drum music and should also serve as required listening for those who need to broaden their musical and/or rhythmic vocabularies.
Yim Hok-Man: Percussions: The Central Virtuosi – Xia Fei-yun; Conductor.
NAXOS website: www.hnh.com