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 Colemanfinds 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 portionsthe 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.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.