Hamid Drake & Bindu: Reggaeology

Sep 1 - 2012
Jay Pritzker Pavilion

While most listeners know artist-in-residence Hamid Drake as one of jazz’s best percussionists, he also happens to be one of the city’s finest reggae drummers. Before the demands of the road took him away from Chicago for much of the year, he worked with many local reggae outfits, and the music still courses through his veins. Drake has been using the moniker Bindu as the name for a variety of focus-shifting lineups, but the one that released Reggaeology (Rogue Art) in 2010 might be the most rewarding of them. As the name suggests, the project allows Drake to merge his deep investment in reggae with his mastery of improvised music.

The frontline features trombonists Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert in a not so subtle to salute to the ubiquity of the instrument in Jamaican music—thanks to the brilliance Skatalites trombonist Rico Rodriguez—and guitarist Jeff Parker helps hold down the music’s infectious syncopated grooves while tracing out the chordal shapes (to say nothing of unleashing some typically corrosive solos) in Drake’s sturdy compositions. Still, Drake refuses to limit the band to just Jamaican music. Cincinnati poet and beatboxer Napoleon Maddox adds extra rhythms and delivers spiritual spoken word, while bassist Joshua Abrams connects with the drummer in a shared predilection for traditional global grooves, shifting to the bass-like Moroccan guimbri when Drake moves to frame drum. Finally, the powerhouse Chicago vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz will also join the group for the first time this evening.


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