Susie Ibarra/Denis Charles Drum Talk

Drum Talk is a series of spellbinding percussive conversations and dialogues between two rhythmic magicians. Charles, who made his name backing Cecil Taylor in the late '50s and Ibarra, best known for work with William Parker and David S. Ware, used to engage in duets at Ibarra's home whenever the two weren't on the road. Charles, who died last year and to whom this album is dedicated, was an old hand at these percussive duets, having exchanging beats with formidable collaborators like Sunny Murray and Ed Blackwell. Just as comfortable stretching the rhythmic capacity of the drum kit, Ibarra also possesses a graceful facility on djembe, Kulintang (Philippine gong) and other small percussion. Both drummers obviously enjoyed playing with each other and it shows — at times, the telepathy between them is frightening. By the end of record, which was recorded live at the Context Studios in January 1998, the two are down to triangle and djembe. Even the crowd, who begin clapping to the insistent rhythms, know that they have just listened to a delicious percussive feast that easily measures up to the solo '60s drum projects of Milford Greaves and Max Roach. (WobblyRail)