Paul Plimley

Ivory Ganesh Meets Doctor Drums

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The goofy cover photo of pianist Paul Plimley and his partner, percussionist Trichy Sankaran, belies the serious nature of this unusual East-meets-West collaboration. Sankaran is evidently an expert in the classical (Karnatak) music of South India, but he has performed extensively with avant composers including Richard Teitelbaum. While Plimley and Sankaran are masters of their traditions, the blend is not totally successful even though there are moments of fascinating beauty and near-perfect synchronicity. Some of the pieces drag, such as Sankaran's almost 20-minute "Jhampalaya II," which according to the liner notes, is only of average length by Karnatak concert standards. Plimley seems restrained throughout the recording, possibly tied down by the style, which tends to be simple, delicate, and sometimes tediously repetitive.

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