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Mike Pride's Scrambler starts off with a bang. On the first track, "A Cry For Unity , the drummer-leader starts the trip with a barricade of beats. Soon enough his "Cry For Unity is answered by a tremendous trio of sounds, William Parker booming his bass in with Charlie Looker's subtle yet key guitar, allowing Tony Malaby to fly out of the boundaries of his sax. Looker steps front stage in "Sometimes It Just Goes To Show with a refreshing tone. Clean and fast, with the occasional handmade effect, Looker delivers. At the drop of a hi-hat, this band of four can go off in their own dimensions, as they weave in and out of each other to create a smooth and 'scrambling' sound. The beauty is that as much as these guys go out riffing, they tighten up just as quickly with a flawless transition. A master collaboration of musicians.
Bartlomiej Brat Oles` Free Drum Suite starts out opposite from Pride's disc. With an eerie lead in, Oles goes off, sometimes so quiet you forgot he was there. Shortly after you turn the volume up, Oles is blasting through your speakers. He shows a great sense of timing here; not just playing in a certain tempo, but timing when he is going to beat his drums or when he is going to softly lay out a rhythm. You're bound to be entranced by his songs as they go from mild to wild and explore a full palette of bells, bamboo sticks and even birds. This record puts out a great vibe, like your stereo has got a mind of its own and painted a surreal soundscape.
Pride and Oles hit both sides of the kit - being the backbone to an ensemble or creating one's own solo suite. While Scrambler and Free Drum Suite have two different formats, a sense of intensity and thought is present in both.
Tracks: 1. A Cry For Unity; 2. Sometimes It Just Goes To Show; 3. A Prayer For Peace; 4. You Never Can Be So Sure.....
Personnel: Tony Malaby: sax; Charlie Looker: guitar; William Parker: bass; Mike Pride: drums
Free Drum Suite
Tracks: 1. Space (dedicated to Neil A. Armstrong) [02:50]; 2. Radius [02:34]; 3. Brush [02:22]; 4. Rytmique [03:56]; 5. Flats (overdub) [00:47]; 6. Drum Doctor [02:03]; 7. 2cv [02:46]; 8. King is in the Town (dedicated to great great Elvin Jones) [05:05]; 9. Water Meditation (dedicated to the memories of Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday & Glenn Gould) [04:57]; 10. Black Land I [03:58]; 11. Black Land II [01:13]; 12. Qosqo [04:03]; 13. Blue Bird [08:30]; 14. Rain [03:53