Percussionist and composer Gene Koshinski teaches at the University of Minnesota Duluth. His debut album showcases his talents using a wide range of percussion instruments in pieces of a variety of style and genres. Most of the works are solos, but several are for small ensemble, and Koshinski overdubs all the parts on all but two of the pieces. Several of the works, Mark Duggan's Choro, Hamilton Green's Frivolity, and the performer's own Afternoon in March, are song-like and melodic and demonstrate Koshinski's mastery of keyboard instruments like vibraphone, marimba, and xylophone. Most impressive, though, are pieces that feature drumming. David MacBride's Staying the Course (after Rzewski) makes an especially powerful impact. Using only membranophones playing gestures associated with military drumming, it includes one note for each American soldier killed in Iraq; at the time of the recording in 2008, the number was just over 4,000. The closing, a single pitch rapidly struck repeatedly for what seems like an eternity, has a chilling effect. Also effective is John Bergamo's Piru Bole, that requires the virtuosic use of a large number of instruments while the performer produces a complex stream of vocalizations. Tim Broscious and Bill Solomon join Koshinski in MacBride's Klung, for percussion trio. Using mostly non-traditional, non-Western, and homemade instruments, the sound of the piece is intriguingly offbeat, and its rhythmic drive is infectious. The sound of the Equilibrium CD is clean and clear.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Three Americas, for percussion|