Michael Waldrop: Time FramesBy
The opening coupling of Waldrop's "Fractals" and "Dem Dakar" dances to the pulse of the African heartbeat, as sequenced bass lines, atmospherics and additional percussion support the leader's rhythmically engaging marimba. Then things move due north for Jack Cooper's Three Mediterranean Views. A jazz-inflected sonata for marimba and vibraphone, this work makes pit stops in Greece ("León de Palamidi"), Italy ("Notte a Venezia") and the South of France ("Château d'If") while spotlighting a strong musical connection between Waldrop and pianist Steve Snyder.
Moving away from the marimba, Waldrop takes a ride on storm currents with his own Katrina's Path. A suite for two drum sets, it finds the leader teaming up with Marko Djordjevic for a well-charted trip from "Brazil" to "Cuba" to "New Orleans." And with groove language to match each locale tag, those pithy pieces prove to be as colorful as the geography they reference and every bit as powerful as the overriding subject.
Waldrop returns to African influences in several places across the program, delivering trance-inducing treats on "Delineations," flexing his six-mallet technique through "Sixth Chakra" and weaving a hypnotic spell on "Continuity." But he's not fixed to that landscape (or any other). Always keeping variety in mind, he takes several steps away from the map to introduce performances primed for recital halls. There's Nathan Daughtrey's wonderfully chimerical "Almost Beyond," pairing Waldrop's marimba with Ivana Cojbasic piano; Gordon Stout's "Incoming," where the leader uses a drum kit to color, rumble and snake his way through mazes (while the composer makes a serious impression on mallets); Jonathan Middleton's "Hollow," a solo marimba composition drawing on the DNA of Honduran rosewood (which, not coincidentally, is the wood used to make the instrument's bars); and Brad Dutz's "Tortoise Efficiency," where Waldrop and Dutz bookend an improv-friendly core with fixed findings. Easy to appreciate, hard to categorize and impossible to ignore, Time Frames is a testament to one exceptional percussionist's determination, skill and creative vision.
Fractals; Dem Dakar (Parables); Three Mediterranean Views: León de Palamidi; Three Mediterranean Views: Notte a Venezia; Three Mediterranean Views: Château d'If; Almost Beyond; Delineations; Katrina's Path: Brazil; Katrina's Path: Cuba; Katrina's Path: New Orleans; Hollow; Sixth Chakra; Incoming; Tortoise Efficiency; Continuity.
Michael Waldrop: multi-instrumentalist; Jose Rossy: percussion; Brad Dutz: percussion.
Steve Snyder: piano (3-5); Alex Pershounin: acoustic bass (3,5); Sam Shoup: acoustic bass (4); Ivana Cojbasic: acoustic piano (6); Marko Djordjevic: drum set (10); Gordon Stout: marimba (13).
Title: Time Frames | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Origin Classical
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About Michael Waldrop
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