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MP3 Tony Vacca - Rhythm Mission

Elegant and Slamming; A hard-hitting, earthy fusion of Jazz, Spoken Word and World Music, featuring Tony Vacca''s World Rhythms Ensemble with special guest Massamba Diop, tama drummer for Baaba Maal.

13 MP3 Songs
WORLD: World Fusion, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

"Rhythm Mission" CD Review
Sunday Republican, Leisure, May 9, 1999, Kevin O''Hare. Playback; Tony Vacca and the World Rhythms Ensemble, "Rhythm Mission." Tony Vacca, balafon, gongs, talking drums, djembe, percussion; Tim Moran on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones; Joe Sallins on electric bass; Steve Leicach on djembe, congas, shakere, talking drum and balafon; Massamba Diop on tama drums.


On previous discs like his masterful 1992 collaboration with Tim Moran (Dance Beneath the Diamond Sky") percussionist and balafon player Tony Vacca proved to be a mesmerizing force. Blending rhythms that span cultures and continents, Vacca''s latest release is yet another sterling effort. Much of the magic comes courtesy of Vacca''s work on the balafon, an ancient African instrument that preceded the xylophone. Collaborating again with saxophonist and flute player Moran, as well as a first-rate band anchored by bassist Joe Sallins, and Baaba Maal''s tama drummer Massamba Diop, the ensemble weaves wonder on instumentals sush as the double-sax driven "Streetwise," the gently melodic "Baoule Dance Song," and the mystical "Blessing." Adding fuel to the fire are a few surprising vocals, giving cuts such as "Tama Doctor," a funky, hip-hop groove. That kind of eclecticism is what has always set Vacca apart from the crowd, but it''s the air-tight interplay between musicians that breathes life into this set.


The music of Tony Vacca''s WORLD RHYTHMS ENSEMBLE is a hard-hitting earthy fusion of Jazz, World Music, and spoken word. Combining elements of traditional African and Afro-Cuban rhythms with the American-born tradition of innovation, they create a sound that is simultaneously elegant and slamming. It''s the hypnotic and powerful sound of giant West-African balafons; the urban bite of a jazz saxophone; the dreamy lyricism of electric violin; the funk and magic of electric bass like you''ve never heard...All mixed well with a world of rhythm-driven poetry and spoken word, and some blow-your-mind spectacular percussion.

In essence, the group is a self-contained festival of World Music, which is no surprise to those who know and follow their work. Vacca''s own description of the group helps to explain how and why they''ve been playing together for over a decade;

"It''s no accident that this group is like it is...I mean every one of these players is a dedicated musician, composer, and leader in his own right. We''ve created an almost psychedelic, collective kind of storytelling with this music. Every time we play together I''m amazed by what happens. My respect and appreciation for each of these musicians just keeps getting deeper... I guess when you put this kind of extraordinary skill together with our experience, and the spirit of generosity that everyone brings to this music, amazing things are going to happen on a regular basis. It just blows my mind."

Tony Vacca is an innovative American percussionist with Jazz and World Music roots going back to 1972. His solo performances are a nearly non-stop athletic spectacle of percussion music and spoken word. He incorporates percussion instruments from a world of traditions that includes African, Caribbean, Asian and Middle-Eastern influences, and then creates a sound that feels right at home anywhere he performs. Over the course of his career, he has made a habit of pushing the already adventurous conventions of World Music into new territory, both as a soloist and as the leader of his World Rhythms Ensemble.

All this is part of the reason he has recorded and/or performed with such a wide range of musicians. These include pop icon Sting, Senegalese Afro-pop star Baaba Maal, Jazz trumpeter and World Music legend Don Cherry, poet Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets, Senegalese Hip-Hop stars Gokh-bi System, and Massamba Diop, Senegalese master of the tama or talking drum.

To find out more about this roster of players and the many programs they offer, go to https://www.tradebit.com.

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