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World Music CD Reviews Jazz


By Robert Kaye
Published April 27, 2007

Hidden Beach

The name John Densmore may ring a bell with many boomers; he was the Doors’ drummer. Here he joins forces with TribalJazz co-founder, veteran woodwind player Art Ellis–along with two African drummers/percussionists, a bassist, and a pianist–to produce his longtime dream project. The album wastes no time in getting under your skin with upbeat opener “Skytrails,” featuring evocative flute, a strutting groove, and compelling solos. Other highlights include bouncy Afro-Cuban jazz track “La Tormenta” and “Lyria,” with its swaying 6/8 time signature; Densmore and his fellow percussionists sizzle nicely, albeit briefly, in solo spots. The Doors’ own “Riders on the Storm” receives a rhythmic transformation, too. The album leans more towards jazz than overt global influence, but that doesn’t detract from its overall quality. With their strong freshman effort, Densmore & crew have stamped their own recognizable mark on world jazz. It’ll be interesting to monitor their progress.