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Black Elk Speaks: Percussion Compositions by Billy Martin

Album Summary

>N/A : Killing The Drought
>N/A : Stridulations
>N/A : Six Grandfathers
>N/A : Metamorphosis
>N/A : Whirlwind Chaser
>N/A : Starlings
>N/A : The Ghost Shirt
>N/A : Illystridulating
>N/A : The Daybreak Star Herb Of Understanding
>N/A : Bon Bon Champs
Composer
Notes & Reviews:

BLACK ELK SPEAKS is a tribute to the Oglala Sioux warrior and medicine man Black Elk.

Personnel includes: Billy Martin, Komodo Whirligig Orchestra.

Personnel: Billy Martin (percussion); Billy Martin ; Paula Potocki, Bean, Bryan Carrott (percussion).

Recording information: Brooklyn, NY (2001); Shacklyn (2001).

Black Elk Speaks is a collection of improvised percussion pieces by Medeski, Martin & Wood drummer Billy Martin. Recorded over several years at Martin's home and at MMW's Shacklyn Studios, the disc is a self-described "musical adaptation to the spirit, visions, and stories of the great Ogiata Sioux warrior and medicine man Black Elk" (whose volume of writing lends its name to the album). Though not quite as forward-reaching as his Illy B Eats collection released earlier in the year, Black Elk Speaks is an elegant realization of many of the organic, melodic-sounding tangents Martin has explored during MMW's more outer-reaching improvisations. As such, Martin is at his best when he explores the subtle tonal qualities of the mbira ("Bon Bon Champs," "Starlings"), the balaphones ("Killing the Drought"), or other instruments. The seven-part "Stridulations" -- arranged for the so-called Komodo Whirligig Orchestra (a septet including Martin, Chris Wood, and others) and performed on temple blocks -- is less interesting, though quite soothing and beautiful in its own fashion. As with Illy B Eats, though, Martin quite successfully expands his world -- or, at least, highlights another nook of it -- as he pushes the freely sensitive percussion style he developed in myriad downtown jazz and world ensembles into a distinct and poetic percussive voice. ~ Jesse Jarnow



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Works Details

>N/A : Killing The Drought
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.

>N/A : Stridulations
  • Running Time: 2 min. 16 sec.

>N/A : Six Grandfathers
  • Running Time: 8 min. 59 sec.

>N/A : Metamorphosis
  • Running Time: 2 min. 14 sec.

>N/A : Whirlwind Chaser
  • Running Time: 3 min. 40 sec.

>N/A : Starlings
  • Running Time: 1 min. 29 sec.

>N/A : The Ghost Shirt
  • Running Time: 8 min. 19 sec.

>N/A : Illystridulating
  • Running Time: 2 min. 7 sec.

>N/A : The Daybreak Star Herb Of Understanding
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.

>N/A : Bon Bon Champs
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.