HAMID DRAKE & INGRID SCHMOLINER Awon Ona
Hamid Drake is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free jazz improvisers. Amongst many others he has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharaoh Sanders, Fred Anderson and Archie Shepp. The Austrian musician, composer and pedagogue Ingrid Schmoliner performs in various international and interdisciplinary projects. She is founder of the Raum 4 concert series and curates the New Adits Festival for Contemporary Music in Carinthia, Austria. Schmoliner distinctively expands the tonal language of current avant-garde music with her striking piano preparations and the multilayered combinations of her compositional patterns. She is at home equally in minimal music and in improvised jazz. The duo played several festivals together, amongst them Artacts in Tyrol, Austria and Jazz Cerkno in Slovenia. These two concerts were recorded and mastered for this release on double CD. Two masters of their craft generating something unique. Full tracklist: 1-1. Keke 2-1. Igbi 3-1. Eeru 4-1. Afefe 5-1. San 1-2. Ina 2-2. Joidi 3-2. Emi 4-2 Aago 5-2. E Dupe 6-2. Gbogbo Ibi. Price: € 23,-/copy incl. worldwide shipping.
Both performances highlight the creative ways that Drake and Schmoliner weave organically elements of free jazz, free improvisation, traditional percussive schools with contemporary music and especially minimalist music. (...) But patiently she disciplines this duet as a multilayered texture that deconstructs its rhythmic elements and accumulates them anew in complex, resonant combinations while keeping its energetic essence. The metallic, repetitive percussive patterns of Schmoliners prepared piano, and later her minimalist gestures on the extended pieces Igbi and Afefe tempt Drake to embrace these patterns with fast-shifting rhythmic storms, and adds on the latter piece a moving, devotional chanting.
(Salte Peanuts, August 2021)
Hamid Drake rollt um das stürmische Klavier herum, spielt nur sehr selten seine typischen Grooves, begleitet auf fantastische Weise Ingrid Schmoliners rhythmischen In- und Outside-Wahnsinn. Sie rüttelt eine unglaubliche Fülle an Sounds aus dem Instrument, bleibt aber auf eine bestimmte Art und Weise auf einem ziemlich klaren Weg und läuft diesen leichtfüßig bis stürmisch immer weiter geradeaus durch den tiefen Wald, ohne hinzufallen.
(Freistil, January 2022)
The combination is extraordinary in both the literal and metaphorical sense of the word. This is not world music, because the genres do not blend into some in-between-state, but keep their strength and character while being in full harmony. Schmoliner and Drake find themselves on various levels: the rhythmic complexities, the shamanistic singing, even if the styles are again totally different, their openness to new forms and the universal language of music, the solemn freshness and the natural organic flow of their sounds.
(Freejazz Blog, January 2022)
Awon Ona is a wonderfully varied and daring release, which blends and blurs elements of improv, modern classical/ modern composition, and jazz - for a highly distinctive and unpredictable double-disc set. This is my first-time hearing works from either of these players, and its certainly made me keen to hear more of their work - both together & in a solo setting.
(Musique Machine, January 2022)
This is how I want my improvised music. Made not just by two virtuosos on their instruments, but by two musicians who think and breathe through their instruments as extensions of their being. Album of the day!
(The Attic, February 2022)
Il y a une intensité dans la voix, et un savant dosage entre une batterie très coloriste et un piano méticuleusement préparé pour appeler la transe. La voix tarde à venir, d’ailleurs, comme le point orgue d une lente mécanique où chaque corde du piano prend vie à force d objets, où le piano se hérisse de déviations de bois ou de métal, et où la batterie est pleine de trouvailles, captant tous les sentiments.
(Citizen Jazz, February 2022)