Odwalla

Kratos e Bia

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

While unquestionably there was a great amount of preparation leading to this recording, its appeal is nonetheless decidedly limited, due in large part to the narrow instrumentation. This is probably as accessible as a percussion album can be, especially with the strong emphasis on Massimo Barbiero's marimbas, which add a singularly melodic element. Barbiero wrote virtually all the tunes (the exception being "Mostar"), and his pervasive influence marks each track. While there is an extraordinary attention to detail, a diversity of instruments within the percussion family, and excellent performances by the entire band, the natural limitations of the instrumentation will probably limit interest to those with an affinity for percussion. Rosella Cangini's arresting vocals (scatting) are restricted to "Mostar," and while impressive, are not enough to broaden the perspective of the album as a whole. Many listeners are likely to find the results a bit tedious even while appreciating the quality of musicianship. Often more than one player performs at a time, with the marimbas standing out from the pack. The unfamiliar melodies are largely unmemorable, and there is a lack of focus throughout. Even the style of music is somewhat fuzzy, incorporating so many elements. The inherent peacefulness, emphasized by the lulling tones of the marimba, are a plus, but by the end there is a sense that more could have happened -- that there is an unrealized potential that was simply not fulfilled.