Bones & tones
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Bones & tones

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band World Jazz


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"Bones & Tones Review"

By Dan Bilawsky

Percussion might very well be the oldest form of communication known to man, but practitioners of the percussive arts are often relegated to supporting roles in the majority of today's music. When percussionist Lloyd Haber received an invitation to form a group for the 2009 Long Beach Jazz Festival, he fought this notion and put together Bones & Tones, which places percussion right at the center of the action. Using marimba and vibraphone as the lead voices, Haber formed a percussion-plus-bass quartet that's more “world music” than “jazz,” though designations are of less importance than the music itself.

Max Roach's M'Boom might be the closest reference point, but Bones & Tones occupies its own niche in the percussion ensemble pantheon. The majority of the pieces on their debut album are built on ostinato patterns established by one or more instruments, allowing a single melodic voice to sing and improvise on top. While much of the music has strong African underpinnings, a pan-global approach brings a variety of cultures together in certain places. Abdou Mboup's kora playing hints at Asian influences during “Breathing Water,” but the instrument returns to its West African origins during “In The Valley Of Dreams.” A touch of tropicalia even comes into play on “Carajillo Con Mantilla,” which benefits from an infectiously deep groove--courtesy of Mboup and bassist Jaribu Shahid--and some fine solo work from vibraphonist Warren Smith and Haber--on marimba.

While odd metered, trance-inducing patterns of a tribal nature serve as the basic setting for most of this music, Smith's “228” is a notable exception. This composition is a musical montage that works its way through frantic percussive forays, dreamy vibraphone melodies, and a whole lot more during its nearly nine minute lifespan. With a collective resume that touches on everything from Harry Partch, Aretha Franklin, Sam Rivers and Bill Laswell to Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Martha Reeves and The Sun Ra Arkestra, it's safe to say that these four musicians have seen it all, and this breadth and depth of experience helps bring new life to the under-explored jazz-world music percussion ensemble format utilized to great effect on Bones & Tones.

- All About Jazz


Bones & Tones Debut album entitled Bones & Tones:
Freedom Art Records 2011

Promo: Jim Eigo, Jazz promotion Services.

Radio Promo: Crossover Media

Available at select stores, I-Tunes and all download sites.



Warren Smith – Multiple percussion, composer: Warren has arguably had one of the most varied careers of any improvising percussionists, working with artists as diverse as Sam Rivers, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Bill Cole and Harry Partch. Though originally trained in modern classical percussion, jazz and improvised music became paramount after moving to New York in the late ’50s. With Max Roach, he started the important percussion ensemble M’Boom Re: Percussion and Smith also opened one of the first and longest-running performance lofts, Studio WIS, in 1967.

Abdou Mboup – Percussion, vocals and Kora: Born in Sengal, he’s taken up the traditional position of the “Griot”, keeping he’s tribe’s history alive orally.A percussion master (both studio session and live), famous for his work with the kora, he’s recorded with everyone from the Tom Tom Club and the Talking Heads to Jean-Luc Ponty, Jean-Michel Pilc and Bill Laswell.

Lloyd Haber- Multiple percussion, composer: A student of the late great Ed Blackwell. Lloyd Has played or recorded with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Bob Stewart, Craig Harris, Louis Hayes, Kalaparusha McIntyre, Charli Persip, Warren Smith, Donald Smith, Howard Johnson and Ron Burton among others. Lloyd has played all over the world including performances at Symphony Space, John Birks Gillespie auditorium and Aaron Davis Hall. Percussion Ensemble clinics at Sam Ash Music and the Long Island Drum Center. Off-Bdwy musical, Songs for the New World. Music for New LineCinema’s Happenstance.

Jaribu Shahid- Bass: One of the most influential bassists in today’s jazz scene. In Detroit Jaribu played with Martha Reeves, the Spinners, and Mary Wilson. Moved to Philadelphia to play and record with the Sun Ra Arkestra. Recorded or performed with Milt Jackson, Geri Allen, James Carter, Henry Threadgill, Hugh Ragin, and Hamiett Bluiett. Currently with David Murray, the Art Ensemble of Chicago and a long time member of Roscoe Mitchell’s Note Factory.