Jerome Cooper: Drums, balaphone, chiramia, Yamaha PSR 1500
Drummer/percussionist Jerome Cooper's fruitful musical legacy with the Revolutionary Ensemble and stints with saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton, pianist Cecil Taylor, and others reads like a who's who in modern jazz. This makes A Magical Approach - a new release of Jerome Cooper's multi-dimensional drumming, a very special event. The music on this CD is drawn from two live performances, recorded almost 30 years apart. Root Assumptions was recorded in 1978 while the other five tracks are from Cooper's 2007 performance at an A.A.C.M. concert. Cooper's remarkable agility and captivating musical spirit is enacted throughout these endearing works.
What is multi-dimensional drumming? Imagine a drummer who plays this flute with one hand, bass drum and high-hat with his feet, and triggers drum loops, chord sequences and bass patterns with his other hand. Whether it is written or improvised, the resulting music is closer to world-funk than avant-garde jazz. Divided into many parts and facets, the drum set and secondary instruments Cooper uses and play are all aspects of the drums. In the future, there will be many changes and developments in the area of the mind, so what we (humankind) think and hear, is what we shall see and hear. In order to play the drum set you must be able to manipulate four or five things at one time (i.e. bass drum, snare drum, high-hat, ride cymbals and maybe voice). So an instruments name and structure doesn't stop him from playing them like a drum. You have instruments that are structurally different from the drum, but they have the same characteristic in the approach to the drum (i.e. piano, balaphone and shoes with taps). In order to find the music of the drums, Cooper had to change my assumptions and beliefs about music in relation to the drums, which is sound in the creation of multi-rhythms.