Don Skoog

Don Skoog: Metric Imperative

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Percussionist Don Skoog is at ease as a jazz musician and in world music; the instruments he uses on this CD include western orchestral instruments like marimba, xylophone, and vibraphone, as well as instruments from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Using overdubbing, Skoog plays a number of instruments, creating textures that can sound like the work of a substantial percussion ensemble. A number of international influences, which Skoog readily acknowledges, shape these compositions, but for the most part, they are rooted in various jazz traditions, and many of the pieces, particularly those featuring the marimba, have the flavor of an improvisation laid down over an ingeniously layered bass track. The album lacks strong contrasts -- most of the tracks are at a moderate tempo with an abundance of repeated patterns. An exception is Slave to the Metric Impulse, a dynamic virtuoso solo for marimba that's rhythmically intriguing, has considerable textural variety, and is strongly atmospheric. Skoog plays all the instruments, from the most familiar to the most esoteric, with style and polish. The sound is bright and present. The CD should be of most interest to fans of crossover and world percussion.

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