Percussionist Ian Dogole blends jazz with musical influences from around the world on this studio session. The leader, who either arranged and/or composed all of the selections, utilizes a number of different instruments, not all of them heard regularly in jazz recordings. McCoy Tyner's "Message from the Nile," while featuring tenor saxophonist Sheldon Brown, soprano saxophonist Paul McCandless and pianist Gary Fisher, adds an exotic touch with Hamza el Din doubling on tar and oud plus singing original lyrics in his native Nubian language. Brown switches to clarinet and McCandless to bass clarinet (playing an Eric Dolphy-like solo), while also adding tenor saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, for Dogole's equally stunning setting of Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing." But Dogole's individual spotlight, an overdubbed solo composition "The Big Dipper" (in honor of the late basketball great Wilt Chamberlain), comes off just a tad too slick and more like a dance number. Overall, this is a very rewarding and adventurous release.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden