Sunday, September 19, 2010

Music Notes – Black Elk Speaks

On one level, I think this is an interesting project to listen to. Medeski, Martin and Wood drummer Billy Martin (and sometimes a few others) uses percussion instruments that most listeners are not familiar with, and the result is often quite enjoyable. On the other hand, I  I would have liked this project more overall had I been able to see and hear it, say in a recital or as part of some gathering or some DVD release. I just seem to have lost the thread of what Martin, an intelligent and talented musician, was after here. I like the idea of honoring the words and ideas of someone as interesting and thought provoking as Black Elk. But even after several listens, many of the tunes (should we call the tracks this?) sound the same.
Perhaps, my ear is listening for melodies that aren’t supposed to be there. I suspect that Martin has a some sort of philosophical statement up his sleeve, but it is one I'm clearly not qualified to comprehend.

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