Millard Clark

Drums of the American Indian, Vol. 2

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The second of two volumes of solo drumming from Indian musical traditions, this collection packs just as much of a basic musical wallop as the first, which -- between its intense performance level and vivid recorded sound -- definitely deserved high praise indeed. This set begins with a solo combining drums and a percussion instrument made from deer toes, and any listeners who have enjoyed the sounds of fiddling around with bones should be put right in the mood for more by this number. Like many pieces on this record, the drumming sets up one beat which is complemented, often even overshadowed, by counter-rhythms created by rattling instruments such as the deer toes or special gourds. Yet another layer is submerged in there from the aftertones or buzzing of the drums, a sound that -- although tremendously pleasing -- is still causing at least two-thirds of polled listeners to think that their speakers have blown. In addition, it should be pointed out that this is one of the few non-garage rock records that actually sounds good with blown speakers anyway. The rhythms, which include both slow and fast war dance beats, the "Peyote Drum Fast Beat," and the altogether marvelous "Sneak Up Dance With Bells and Deer Toes," are simply that entrancing. The second side, consisting of extended pieces at very slow and medium beats, makes one wish the word "heavy" hadn't already been pounded into mush by stoners. These are extremely strong performances. Combined, Clark's two volumes constitute one of the major recordings of solo percussion.

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