Lyrichord presents an album devoted to the sounds of Asante Kete drumming ensembles recorded in Ghana, West Africa by Joseph S. Kaminski. The Asante are said to have "captured" the Kete system of drumming from the Jaman people during a time (18th and 19th centuries) when the Asante prospered as a military power throughout the region. Utilized during wartime, this music also came to be used during rituals and ceremonies, and has since become mainly associated with funerals and ancestor reverence. The drums (the large Kwadum, the medium-sized Apentemma, and the small Aburukuwa) are traditionally covered by felt decorated with red and black in representation of blood and death. Other instruments used in the Kete Ensemble are the Donno or talking drum, a rattle called the Torowa, and a bell known as the Dawuro. Integral members of the Kete Ensemble are the dancers, whose stylized movements constitute a symbolic language of considerable expressivity. Some gestures describe hunting, others warfare. A special maneuver signifies the word "gyname" which translates as "accept God." One individual who seems to have incorporated some aspects of the Kete tradition and much of its instrumentation into his own artistic reality is percussionist Famoudou Don Moye, best known for his work as a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf