Exposé Online banner

Tohpati — Tribal Dance
(Moonjune MJR064, 2014, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-07-23

Tribal Dance Cover artI really liked Tohpati's album with Ethnomission from 2010, and when the news came that he would be recording in the US with Jimmy Haslip and Chad Wackerman, I had mixed feeling. While Tohpaiti's guitar playing was a large part of that album's appeal, I really liked the Indonesian flavors imparted by the rest of the band. Would the guitarist still be as interesting in a different setting? Tribal Dance is, in many ways, a much more ordinary recording than Selamatkan Bumi, being pretty much a standard guitar/bass/drums fusion trio. The Indonesian element of the music is reduced to ambient bits that set the mood at the beginnings of several tracks, but these brief moments are key to the album's success. Certainly Tohpati deserves a place among the pantheon of great guitarists, and his compositions are top-notch as well, with a great balance of lyricism and dexterity. Haslip and Wackerman need no introduction as masters of their instruments, and they don't disappoint, infusing Tohpati's compositions with great feel and skill. Tribal Dance was almost all recorded live on a single day, so I'm assuming the keyboard-like sounds heard from time to time are triggered by the guitar, but there's no doubt that this group could show up anywhere and deliver without any help. So, while Tribal Dance may not be the revelation that Selamatkan Bumi was (that kind of lightning only strikes once), it's proof positive of Tohpati's worthiness as a world-class musician. Highly recommended for fans of intelligent jazz-rock that eschews the kind of over-the-top technical virtuosity some bands focus on, opting for a more human, but still impressive, kind of music.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Tohpati, Chad Wackerman

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cornerstone - Once upon Our Yesterdays – Vocalist Dougie White and bassist Steen Morgensen form the songwriting backbone of progressive metal act Cornerstone, which hails from Denmark. White comes from the UK, having spent time in local...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover

Heatwarmer new album out



Print issues