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CD Review: Jerry Leake's Cubist



The Deal: Floating genres in an adventurous recording by percussionist and vibist.

The Good: Percussionist Jerry Leake's Cubist evokes a musical version of art world's the Cubist movement, creating geometrical forms out of sound. He is quite methodical, but that doesn't mean the sound is sterile. On the contrary, the flow is natural. Leake merges global music into a fusion where Latin rhythms twirl around jazz and rock, Indian scats and percussion dance with Caribbean and African grooves. With an ear for rhythmic blending, evolved during his musical exploratory journeys to India, Africa and Latin America, Leake is a percussion virtuoso, meshing and weaving disparate techniques into a whole. Tablas are prominent in several tracks, along with African drums and of course the vibes (a percussion instrument used much in jazz). The tracks include "Cubist," with Indian scats and a new age backdrop, "freehand," a vibes outing and some featuring vocal samples. Leake inhabits a musical universe where old meet new, traditional meets futuristic. He teaches at the New England Conservatory and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

The Bad: Didn't hear much bad, although the recording ranges from new age to psychedelic rock, as if it's two records in one, requiring listener patience.

The Verdict: Musically open ears and minds will soak in the experimentation and soundscapes.

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