508

Hamid Drake & Bindu: Reggaeology

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Hamid Drake & Bindu: Reggaeology For the first two minutes of atmospheric discourse between the twin trombones of Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert, and the human beatbox that is Napoléon Maddox, you would be forgiven for thinking that Hamid Drake's Reggaeology was an ironically titled free improv set. But that impression doesn't last. Infectious riddims kick in, based on Bob Marley's "One Drop," and from that point on it's a joyous ride.

As the third disc from the drummer's leadership vehicle, Bindu, Reggaeology continues the template set by its predecessors only inasmuch as it is completely different to what went before. Their eponymous debut featured four saxophones, stoked by the leader's drums, while Blissful (RogueArt 2008) was predicated upon spontaneously generated string and percussion grooves, and devotional declamations. This time out, while the recitations—by either Maddox or Drake—remain, they are slung from reggae beats with a two-'bone horn section. Also gathered under the Bindu umbrella are fellow Windy City fixtures Jeff Parker on guitar and Josh Abrams on bass and guimbri.

To oversimplify, the 68-minute program alternates overtly reggae-based pieces with other world-based rhythm outings, all spiced with pockets of improvised colloquy and timbral exploration. Given Drake's extensive reggae back story, it's no surprise that the riddims carry conviction. Both trombonists stretch the horn section vernacular with expressive soloing and relaxed conversation, without the need to draw on avant technique to make their mark. Parker nails the off-beats, but still gets to step out, with guitar hero calisthenics, on the standout opener, "Kali's Children No Cry." Elsewhere he's more restrained, while Abrams gets right down to the roots. Maddox is the wildcard, whether plying a litany of shushes, clicks and pops, crooning sweetly, or intoning spiritual texts.

"Togetherness" spotlights Maddox simulating scratching and dub technology, a trick cleverly echoed by the syncopated trombones, while Drake's bass and drum "Take Us Home" benefits from the real thing. Reprised from the band's debut, "Meeting and Parting" is given a choppy, reggae makeover, features amiably duetting trombones. A half-spoken Maddox lyric—which, like a few of the vocals, holds up less well over repeated listens than the accompaniment—is one of the few misfires on this successful genre-busting mash-up.

Track Listing: Kali's Children No Cry; Hymn of Solidarity; Kali Dub; The Taste of Radha's Love; Togetherness; Meeting and Parting; Take Us Home.

Personnel: Hamid Drake: drums, frame drum, tabla, voice; Napoléon Maddox: voice, beatbox; Jeff Parker: guitar; Jeff Albert: trombone, Hammond organ; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Josh Abrams: double bass, guimbri.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Rogue Art | Style: Latin/World


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Red Rocks 7/8/78" CD/LP/Track Review Red Rocks 7/8/78
by Doug Collette
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "The Pauper And The Magician" CD/LP/Track Review The Pauper And The Magician
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Carolina" CD/LP/Track Review Carolina
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Beloved" CD/LP/Track Review Beloved
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!