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November 2005

Will Calhoun
Native Lands
Half Note Records

Will Calhoun displays his adaptability and instrumental mastery in numerous roles on the musically diverse, thematically appealing Native Lands. Calhoun works in solo, duo and combo situations, his duties rotating between sympathetic accompanist, flashy stylist and percussive scene-setter on such numbers as his originals "Emanation" and "East," plus compositions cowritten with Kevin Eubanks and Wallace Roney ("Pyramids"), Stanley Jordan ("Push") and Nana Vasconcelos (the title track).

"Native Lands" is an Afro-Latin rhythm forum and six-minute-plus dynamo, with Calhoun and Vasconcelos playing any and everything from shakers and glass udu drum to brushes and the Native American double flute. Calhoun also takes turns on acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards, piano and various synthesized devices, while consistently supplying crisp backgrounds and support for such contributors as tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, trumpeter Roney and bassist Buster Williams.

The set also includes a colorful and informative DVD that combines footage of Calhoun's masterful drumming in various situations as well as sequences of African dance, stunning photographs and a documentary on the making of the short film Brazilian Connections. The total CD/DVD package offers a comprehensive and impressive portrait of a topflight bandleader and multi-instrumentalist who excels in any musical and cultural situation.

Originally published in November 2005
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