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World Drummers Ensemble: A Coat Of Many Colors

Drumming is very much one of the most primal forces in music and perhaps also the oldest. This dual CD/DVD release brings you into the performance of The World Drummers Ensemble and it's a really unique look especially when you consider the cast of players. Progressive Rock drumming legend Bill Bruford is at the forefront of this release and his work in both King Crimson and Yes has made his name synonymous with creative expressions on the drums. Bruford mans a mixed electronic and acoustic set, and he was one of the first big names to jump into the realm of electronic drumming so it makes watching him like watching a veteran on these things. Chad Wackerman is one of the many talented drummers to have performed with Frank Zappa and Alan Holdsworth; this fact alone makes his level of ability easy to determine for the listener/viewer. The pair is joined by Doudou N'Diaye Rose (who plays the Sabar and Gorum Babass) and Luis Conte (master of the congas, timbales, Cajon and other percussion). Given my limited exposure to World percussion or Latin instrumentalist I can offer no real critique on the last two other than the fact that their performances are brilliant. One expects this since each performer is a leader in the instrument that they wield on the CD. All the players are given a chance to shine and they do this on every track but I felt that this is also for a limited audience when it comes down to it. Jazz itself is often a difficult form to catch a non-Jazz person, and when the music is solid drumming with no other instruments the potential listener is halved further. I think the unique mix of players will draw a lot of people in but clearly this is aimed at those who focus on percussion or drumming as their own instrument. The blending of all the varied drum types makes this sound like a large festive event rather than a stoic and rigid concert.

The CD is in dual disc format meaning a DVD is on the opposite side and I have to admit how disappointed I was in this fact. Instead of being a complete version of the audio concert you are given only 15 minutes of video and some biographical information. There is some behind the scenes stuff but the overall shortness of this film totally ruined it for me. I felt by having the complete film in place that the audience for the release would be potentially larger. I'm a drummer myself, and I often get lost in over the top technical displays, yet would have loved to see longer instances of Bruford and Wackerman performing with Doudou and Conte. Potential listeners should be aware of what this is before they take the plunge, it is well done and comes with merit but it also has some pitfalls. I just didn't think enough advantage was taken of the DVD format that is available nowadays.

Song Listing
1. Conundrum
2. Majorette
3. Prism
4. Baye Kene N'Diaye
5. Ritm Kompozisyon
6. A Coat Of Many Colors
7. Self Portrait
8. Sa N'Diaye
9. B'Boom
10. Encuentro (Encounter)

Added: April 16th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2780
Language: english

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