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Adam Rudolph: Contemplations

Another musician based in Los Angeles, but with ears that easily go global, is percussionist Adam Rudolph, whose projects over the years have tended to seek commonalities in divergence, such as the Western-West African connection of the Mandingo Griot Society in the ’80s, featuring Foday Musa Suso. Rudolph’s current, ongoing project is Moving Pictures, another culture-tapestry whose identity results from the sum of its various parts. On Contemplations (Meta 002; 63:41), those parts include Rudolph’s array of instruments, including hand drums, thumb piano, balafon, takling drum, and more, drums and vocals by Hamid Drake, Federico Ramos on guitar, charango and other tools, and Ralph Jones on saxophones, flutes and, occasionally, less western instruments.

Together, they fashion a colorful and nicely textured music, heavily reliant on improvisation, but not necessarily with jazz as the base language. The album is dedicated to the late Don Cherry, whose own interest in interacting with other cultures and folk music-like directness is reflected in this music. This is music that seems to travel before our ears.

Originally Published