Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
World jazz before world jazz existed
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1985 there weren't a lot of discs like this. Oh, there was Oregon and Collin Wolcott and Egberto Gismonti and Andy Narell, but nothing quite along these lines. And there still aren't.
Jim Brock is certainly one of the most versatile percussionists on the planet. With an arms-length resume in rock, jazz, blues, folk, country, inspirational, and new age music, he's done it all. In the early eighties, he'd gotten to know the great drummer and bandleader Mel Lewis. They used to spend endless late nights listening to music and talking about everything under the sun. Out of those talks came this delightful session.
There's nothing particularly revolutionary about the concept behind this music; it's a simple idea, but one difficult to pull off: get about 15 musicians together in a studio, come with a bunch of bare-bones melodic/rhythmic sketches, mix and match the players, and turn 'em loose. Sounds simple enough, but wait. What if the musicians don't meld? What if the tunes don't work? What if egos get in the way? It takes a very savvy musician to assemble just the right mix of players to make this work. Though there aren't a lot of big names here (Mel Lewis and Dick Oatts being probably most prominent), all are fine players. Leader Brock, a brilliant composer as well as sound sculptor, gets the most out of everyone.
A very attractive, seldom realized (or even gone for) vibe rules here: relaxed, loosey-goosey, yet incorporating a staggering variety of world-rhythms, and with real backbone, not just some loungy, carpetbagging fake-evocation that tends to dominate much of today's cross-cultural musical efforts. And despite (or maybe because of) the rather primitive--at least by contemporary standards--recording and post-production methods employed, the sound image shines and shimmers with great clarity and brilliance.
And though this proved to be little more than a one-off project (although the two discs Brock did with Van Manakas, Tropic Affair and Letters from the Equator, partake of the vibe somewhat), it should be celebrated for its beauty and uniqueness.
Very much worth hearing."
A great re-release
Mr. Leo Hageman | NC | 09/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You will never find a greater percussionist than Jim Brock. This album will take you places you have never been and always wanted to go. This guy is creative and give you sounds that you never thought were possible from jazz. What a wonder album ... then and now! I enjoyed it over and over and again now on CD."