Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

508

Hamid Drake & Bindu: Reggaeology

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Reggaeology | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Rogue Art


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "April" CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "The Time Verses" CD/LP/Track Review The Time Verses
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Ha Noi Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Doug Collette
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "The Elements" CD/LP/Track Review The Elements
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Trinity One" CD/LP/Track Review Trinity One
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 31, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor