Jerome Cooper In Concert: From There to Hear

While topflight drummers and percussionists are well respected within the context of their jazz ensembles, very few of them sustain as much love as solo performers. One of Jerome Cooper's central missions is to change this. While his contemporaries from the '60s, like Milford Graves, have taken to exploring expansive regions within a fairly traditional toolbox of instrumentation, Cooper's approach has been a broadening of his palette, including several non-percussive and electronic implements. Most unconventional in these live solo recordings from '95 and '96 is his use of a South American wind instrument called a chiramia - a reed cousin of the flute. Cooper doesn't see this as separate from his drum kit, which is augmented by drum synths and electronic tonal rhythmic activators, but as part of a whole process he calls "multi-dimensional drumming." At times, the fact of all of the sound originating from only one musician becomes boggling, but some of the pieces go on for far too long, given their forgivably limited depth. Perhaps the experience of being there at the performances might add a needed extra dimension. Still, much of the recording sheds light on new possibilities within a maligned realm of solo percussion. (Mutablemusic)