Barrett Martin Group
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Barrett Martin Group


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"Rolling Stone - Barrett Martin Drums Up A Storm" - Rolling Stone

"NPR- All Songs Considered" - National Public Radio

"Ink 19 - Baby He Was Born To Drum" - Ink 19

"Blog Critics - Barrett Martin Interview" - Blog Critics

"In Music We Trust - Barrett Martin Interview" - In Music We Trust



Barrett Martin (drums, percussion)

Zenga (Fast Horse Recordings - FH021)

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Musicians: Barrett Martin (drums, percussion), Dave Carter (trumpet), John Rangel (piano), Chris Golden (upright bass). Composed by Barrett Martin.
Recorded: Seattle, Washington, Taos & Santa Fe, New Mexico, between winter 2008 and winter 2009

RATING: 91/100 (learn more)
The music of Barrett Martin can be tough to pin down. Go ahead and listen to his work with the rock band Screaming Trees. Then check out Tuatara. Sure, it's something of a stylistic leap from the former to the latter, but if viewed as a transition, it illustrates the wide-ranging extent of Martin's interests and hearing: his “big ears.”

Martin's solo recordings have leaned more toward the multi-faceted pallet of Tuatara — music that's cinematic and draws from many sources, often within the confines of a single composition.

“Shapeshifter” indeed proves my point, starting out with a pensive segment lead by two melodic instruments (piano, vibes) telling a reserved story in waltz time. But then the band launches into high energy Latin jazz mode and we're treated to fabulous solos by Dave Carter on trumpet and John Rangel on piano. Martin and bassist Chris Golden really dig in to the groove here. By the tune's end, the mood has gone back to the more reserved and searching, this transition seeming less abrupt and perhaps even more appropriate now that the whole story has been revealed.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski



2004 - The Painted Desert
2006 - Earthspeaker
2009 - Zenga
2010 - Skyline



Barrett Martin is an American drummer/composer/ethnomusicologist who played with several prominent rock and jazz groups during the alternative music explosion of the 1990's, including Skin Yard, The Screaming Trees, Mad Season, Tuatara and REM. He was also a session musician in Los Angeles and has played on or produced over 70 albums to date, including 4 solo albums and numerous film soundtracks. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in anthropology and music and has traveled the world extensively, doing musical research and ethnomusicology projects in several different cultures around the world, including the Garifuna drummers of Belize, Wolof drummers of Senegal, Ewe drummers of Ghana, Santeria drum priests of Cuba, Candomble drum priests of Brazil, the singing Shipibo shamans of the Peruvian Amazon, and other recording projects in Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Jerusalem. In 2002 he founded the world music label, Fast Horse Music, which focuses on World Music, Jazz and Fusion hybrids of experimental forms. Barrett has been interviewed by such media outlets as NPR’s “All Things Considered”, Rolling Stone, Spin, and many other magazines, newspapers, and Internet websites.