Various Artists — Modern Drummer Presents Volume One - Drum Nation
(Magna Carta MA-9065-2, 2004, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2004-09-01Magna Carta has aligned with Modern Drummer magazine to bring you the best of who’s out there pounding the skins in the music world today. Eleven drummers on twelve tracks give a severe cerebral pounding to their drum kits in genres ranging from rock to jazz and outright fusion. Leading the charge is Terry Bozzio, who does it all by his little lonesome on the lead track, “A Glimpse into a Deeply Disturbed Mind.” Next up is a new studio version of “Beelzebub,” done up by Bill Bruford’s newest incarnation of Earthworks. This time out it’s Tim Garland on sax ripping the lead lines Allan Holdsworth played on the original as the quartet embraces the track in a new acoustic, but high-energy approach. It’s also great to hear another Zappa/Holdsworth alumnus Chad Wackerman in a new project between Shakti member Zakir Hussain and Journey/Vital Information drummer Steve Smith, which results in a cool east meets west jazz intersection. Chad Wackerman serves up some rip-roaring fusion with a new quartet featuring Daryl Pratt on vibes. Simon Phillips also delivers the goods on “Manganese” that features Jimmy Johnson on bass and reminds me of the old Billy Cobham band circa my favorite Life and Times. Plus there are several other competent players represented as well. Overall it’s a wide plate of chops and brilliant percussion that succeeds in presenting the best of the best.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more