Tohpati — Tribal Dance
(Moonjune MJR064, 2014, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-07-23I really liked Tohpati's album with Ethnomission from 2010, and when the news came that he would be recording in the US with Jimmy Haslip and Chad Wackerman, I had mixed feeling. While Tohpaiti's guitar playing was a large part of that album's appeal, I really liked the Indonesian flavors imparted by the rest of the band. Would the guitarist still be as interesting in a different setting? Tribal Dance is, in many ways, a much more ordinary recording than Selamatkan Bumi, being pretty much a standard guitar/bass/drums fusion trio. The Indonesian element of the music is reduced to ambient bits that set the mood at the beginnings of several tracks, but these brief moments are key to the album's success. Certainly Tohpati deserves a place among the pantheon of great guitarists, and his compositions are top-notch as well, with a great balance of lyricism and dexterity. Haslip and Wackerman need no introduction as masters of their instruments, and they don't disappoint, infusing Tohpati's compositions with great feel and skill. Tribal Dance was almost all recorded live on a single day, so I'm assuming the keyboard-like sounds heard from time to time are triggered by the guitar, but there's no doubt that this group could show up anywhere and deliver without any help. So, while Tribal Dance may not be the revelation that Selamatkan Bumi was (that kind of lightning only strikes once), it's proof positive of Tohpati's worthiness as a world-class musician. Highly recommended for fans of intelligent jazz-rock that eschews the kind of over-the-top technical virtuosity some bands focus on, opting for a more human, but still impressive, kind of music.
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more