File under: drum/percussion showcase. Drummer/percussionist Todd Isler, on his sophomore effort, provides a diverting album that will perk up the ears of any student of rhythm and world-beat. To provide further variety, Isler's percussion solo tracks are spaced between ensemble tracks throughout the album.
Soul Drums opens with a very mainstream "Kalalau Trail," a remembrance of Kauai (Hawaii)'s ."..treacherous but gorgeous trail..." which, verifies Isler's description. It is also, a feature for Hawaiian tenor saxophonist Allen Won.
The influence of African, Brazilian and Indian percussion begins with "Waves of Kalalau," featuring Isler's frame drum and continues on "Tiptoe," with Billy Drewes taking over on tenor sax. "Just Wait" features the South Indian Kanjira, which is also featured on "The Rains." Isler uses a two-chambered udu drum that he co-invented with percussionist Jamey Haddad on "Hadgini Journey," and Brazil is given an airing via "Baiao Todd," "Olinda" and a version of Stevie Wonder's "Bird of Beauty," which also incorporates the partido alto, as well as funk and samba.
The album closes with a cover of Joe Zawinul's "Badia" an Isler duet with guitarist David Phelps who plays in a rock style. With the exception of the Wonder and Zawinul tunes, all others are originals either written or co-written by Isler.
Track Listing: Kalalau Trail; Waves of Kalalau; Tiptoe; Bed of Pines; Bird of Beauty; Just Wait; Kyerematen; The Rains; Olinda; Hadgini Journey; Baiao Todd; Badia.
Personnel: Todd Isler: drums, hand drums, percussion, voice; Billy Drewes: tenor and soprano sax; Jenny Hill: tenor sax; Allen Won: tenor sax; Tom Hubbard: acoustic bass; Ian James Macdonald: piano; Adam Morrison:piano (7); David Phelps: electric guitar; Kip Reed: electric bass(3, 5, 9, 11).
Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Latin/World
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy
I grew up listening to my father's Jazz records and listening to radio. My dad was a musician for many years as a vocalist, bassist and drummer. His two uncles played in the Symphony of Reggio Calabria back in Italy. So music and jazz specifically have been a part of me since I was born. I love and perform in all styles of music from around the world. Improvisation in jazz is what drew me in, and still does as well as other genres that feature improvisation. A group of great musicians expressing themselves as one is the hallmark of great jazz and in fact all great music.