The multi-instrumentalist and educator Michael Waldrop made me a fan pretty quick with 2019's Triangularity, and this follow up and 4th album highlights Waldrop's marimba talent as he takes help from Gordon Stout, Brad Dutz, Jose Rossy and Marko Djordjevic across chamber, classical and groove filled tracks.
Waldrop starts the listen with the mesmerizing and rhythmic "Fractals", where his marimba skills flow alongside cultured bongos from Brad Dutz, and "Dem Dakar (Parables) follows with Jose Rossy's playful percussion highlighting the African meets classical climate.
Later on, "Almost Beyond" recruits Ivana Cojbasic on piano as her warm spirit complements Waldrop's frisky marimba, while "Delineations" brings keyboard sequencing alongside the marimba and Rossy's percussion for a superbly melodic display. "Sixth Chakra", the album's best, then dances around plenty of rhythmic avenues as Waldrop and Rossy both shine with incredible dynamics and strong chemistry.
By the time we reach the last tune, Waldrop proves that he's seemingly got an endless bag of ideas, and finishes the album with complicated and fascination progressions of "Continuity", where Rossey's strategic contributions won't go unnoticed, either.
Waldrop often employs a six mallet technique here (three per hand), and his inimitable manipulation of the marimba not only retains its history as an African percussive instrument, but shows us just what it's capable of in his unique vision of fusion sounds.