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 was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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