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Similarly Requested CDs
Percussion as it should be
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a truly inspired album. Leon Parker, unlike many of his contemporaries, does not buy into the Dennis Chambers school of drumming (aka showing off). Parker, on the set, is a minimalist in that he has stripped his set to the bare essentials. On top of that, his actual playing on the set is drumming as it should be - he lays down a funky riff to support some fantastic side musicians. On top of this, Parker explores different modes of expression through percussion, such as his body and voice. The CD contains inspired playing by Parker and all musicians, but also contains amazing ensemble work. I highly reccommend this."
S. Hawkins | New York, NY | 06/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Leon Parker must be the hippest percussionist out there. If you don't believe me, check this CD out.Parker's drum playing is, while not minimal, extremely riff-based. His set is stripped down to one cymbal, one snare, and a bass drum. While for most people, this would be a one-way road to tedium, Parker pulls it off by actively manipulating the sounds he can get from each piece. On top of that, he's not above using his voice, or even playing percussion on his body for variety.The selection of songs is quite good. For me, Bemsha Swing and Caravan are the highlights of this album - particularly Caravan (which features some of the best playing I've heard by David Sanchez). The ballads are also quite good, especially You Don't Know What Love Is; a daunting tune to do, as one is going up against the recordings of Miles, Coltrane, and Rollins.The CD does fall down a bit. Songs like Celebration fall a little too much into a strange, bland mix of new-age and world (Celebration features flute over light percussion). However, in general the song selection is very good, and the playing is spectacular (Jacky Terrasson is featured on this album as well).While it's not an essential album (his follow-up, "Awakening," is better), this is still an extremely strong album. Highly recommended to people who like their jazz on the hip side."
Percussion To Another Level
S. Hawkins | 11/22/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Leon has an interesting approach to the use of percussion, especially African based percussion, to produce some original and very tasty music.On Celebration and Caravan his percussive explorations are, to say the least, mesmerizing. David Sanchez fits, hand in glove, to complement the theme on Caravan.Paper Moon is done in a calypso, a la Sonny Rollins, with Jacky Terrasson introducing the opening solo followed by Joshua Redman¹s distinctive and rich statements.This is definitely someone to listen to repeatedly to hear the direction he¹ll be going."