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Glen Velez: Rhythmcolor Exotica

In other percussion news, Glen Velez’s new recording Rhythmcolor Exotica (Ellipsis Arts 4140; 58:34) is the latest in a now-sizable discography from the noted, culture-crossing hand drummer. Velez and his group Handance create a refreshing ensemble sound, anchored by the rhythmic pull of three drummers who mete out often odd-metered grooves with Middle Eastern elements intact. The unique tonal palette, combining simple thematic materials and selective improvisations, comes courtesy of trombonist Art Baron (who also plays conch, didgeridu, tin whistle and bass recorder) and violinist Eva Atsalis. It all adds up to another enticing example of Velez’s creative handiwork, as he dips into history and world culture and comes up with his own variations there from.

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