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På skive



The Forest is an American five-member cooperative, multi-generational and multicultural percussion ensemble that was formed in 2021 and led by Andrew Drury and featuring Gustavo Aguilar, Leah Bowden, Lesley Mok and Michael Wimberly. The debut album of this ensemble, (D)ruminations, offers Drury’s suite in homage to his mentor, the great drummer Ed Blackwell (1929-1992), based on material from the Blackwell/Don Cherry Mu (First and Second Parts BYG, 1969) and various personal images and memories from Drury’s decade-long as a disciple of Blackwell. The album was recorded at The Bunker in Brooklyn in March 2023.

Drury describes Blackwell as the most melodic drummer ever to play a drum set, and his seminal mentorship haunted Drury’s musical imagination for over 40 years. The 44-minute, four-part suite «(D)ruminations for Edward Blackwell» (with a bonus piece that reprises the third part), reaffirms Drury’s observation and suggests lush and layered sonic landscapes made by percussive instruments from many traditions. This moving suite advances Blackwell’s legacy of ensemble’s composing and improvising as a spiritual, multi-cultural ritual with a deep sense of space, groove, sound and dance.

The Forest performs another hypnotic ritual, great percussionist Warren Smith’s 1968 composition «Elements of a Storm», originally composed for the percussion ensemble M’Boom (co-founded by Smith and Max Roach) for the album, Re: Percussion (Strata East, 1973). This composition is arranged for the The Forest quintet to play body percussion and five timpanis while Smith guides the way, and also plays gongs, bass drums, and triangles. Bowden wrote her doctoral dissertation on M’Boom and has convened other groups to play M’Boom repertoire in the past. Woodwinds player J. D. Parran is another guest performer on this album. The release of the album coincides with the release of Smith’s autobiography, Crossing Borders and Playing with Pioneers.

Dérive is a French word for a type of «random walk» through a landscape that allows people to disassociate from everyday relations to their social environment and bring attention to a more expanded view of the present moment. The album Dérive features baritone vocal artist Thomas Buckner, percussionist Drury and double bass player James Ilgenfritz in five live improvisations recorded at FourOneOne in Brooklyn in June 2023. This core trio is joined by guest musicians – violinist Nicole Parks, pianist Alexis Marcelo, and woodwind players Daniel Carter and JD Parran. These five introspective yet eccentric and sometimes even surreal improvisations adopt the role of the Dérive and suggest expanded awareness, enhanced with generous usage of extended breathing, friction and bowing techniques, through disassociation from the quotidian.

Eyal Hareuveni

Gustavo Aguilar (bass drum, gongs, vibraphone, sleigh bells, metal objects, wood flute, samba whistle, triangle, conga, slide flute, body percussion, timpani), Leah Bowden (Tibetan bells, marimba, snare drum, metal objects, drum set, metal objects, aux. percussion, body percussion, timpani), Andrew Drury (drum set, piano, voice, floor tom played as wind instrument, shakers, hand claps), Lesley Mok (conga, drum set, timpani, bongos), Michael Wimberly (djembe, glockenspiel, marimba, sleigh bells, wood flute, metal objects, drum set, aux. percussion, piano), Warren Smith (timpani, gongs, bass drums, triangle), J.D. Parran (bass flute, contra-alto clarinet, soprano saxophone, bamboo saxophone, wood flutes), Thomas Buckner (baritone voice), James Ilgenfritz (double bass), Nicole Parks (violin), Daniel Carter (winds), Alexis Marcelo (piano) 

The Forest Trailer from Soup & Sound Online on Vimeo.