This esteemed drummer/percussionist has recorded or performed with the crème of rock and country artists, including Rickie Lee Jones, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, Laurie Anderson, Victoria Williams, Jewel, Fiona Apple, and Bo Diddley. The anti-commercial nature of this strange experiment in avante-garde percussion playing ensures that his side career will continue, but students of exotic instruments and, at certain intervals, Eastern meditation music, may find it intriguing. "Tabla People" is probably best enjoyed under the influence of something, with its ever-present drone box, weird but hardy decipherable voices, and hypnotic bongo- and tabla-playing patterns. The rhythm kicks up on the title track, as Frankel adds djembe to his arsenal to accompany Pablo Calogero's ocarina and didgeridoo -- but again, it's just weird and trippy. Frankel appears on the strangeness and limited appeal of this sort of exercise, calling one track "Message from Another Planet" (but at least it has a bit of a melody, and clarinet and steel guitar). True percussion freaks will probably groove on this, but to the outsider, it's like someone turned on a tape recorder while a seminar was going on.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran