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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

Richie Barshay

By Chris Heim
Published September 28, 2007

AYVA Music

Though still in his early 20s, percussionist Richie Barshay has already worked with Herbie Hancock, the Klezmatics and Latin jazz groups. With Homework, his debut as a leader, Barshay puts that experience to work—along with extensive study of Indian music and an elaborate kit bolstered by Indian and Latin drums—on a disc of adventurous world-infl uenced contemporary jazz. The version of Thelonious Monk’s “Trinkle Tinkle,” set to a classic Indian rhythm pattern, is perhaps the purest example of Barshay’s plan here. Tabla and chant are the starting point for the skittery postbop “Peacock,” which segues via sitar into “Return Voyage,” a melodic and engaging piece hinting at some of the extramusical concepts at work. Indian blends with klezmer on the stately “Sim Shalom_Prayer for Peace” and with Latin on the lively “Rucutucupla.” The title track, one of three on which Hancock guests, points the way to contemporary world fusion.