Randy Crafton


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Percussionist Randy Crofton shoots out plenty of sparks in 14 duets with six other musicians mostly recorded live in the studio in one take, and all essentially improvised. The result is the same kind of freshness found in the best field recordings of ethnic music, not to mention a sonic presence that fussed-over mixing board productions completely lack. "Howard's Island," abuilt around Crofton's burbling udu drum and Howard Levy's bluesy harmonica, works especially well, as does "In This World," a collaboration with Amit Chatterjee based on the evening raga "Rag Jog." But as delicious as the textures created by Crofton's arsenal of drums, thumb pianos, tambourines, pots, pans, and the rest may be, the improvisations sound like exactly what they are. So if you're seeking finished music rather than flashes of inspiration looking for final form, seek elsewhere.

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