div1.jpg (6017 bytes)


Pete Lockett

Network of Sparks

ARC Music EUCD1742

"World percussion," I groaned, "Mother of God, this is going to be horrible," but I put it on, anyway, pressing the random button on my CD player remote with a vague notion that doing so might lessen the boredom I was anticipating. Cut five, "Directions", came up.

"Directions" is not the best title for this choral, phonetic mouth percussion piece. "In a Bar, My Former Paramour Natters On To The Third Helpless Stranger Of The Night About Her Sister's College Graduation As I Try To Tune Her Out", would tag the song much more descriptively.

Anyone who's ever been in a long relationship, including that very former paramour, and tripped over one or more topics or narratives that, after a few tellings are borne rather than heard has already heard this song, but never heard it performed with such gentle humor. Hailing from Louisiana as I do, Louisiana having been the only Southern state that legally permitted its slaves to play drums (the others banned drumming after realizing that traditional African "talking drums" could be used to communicate and plan rebellion between plantations and along rivers), I had certainly heard expressive percussion before, but nothing on this level. Amazed at "Directions", I sat down to listen harder to the best of the album.

I flipped through liner notes and learned that Lockett had recorded with some acts I'd heard of, including Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Rory Gallagher, London Sinfonietta and Lowell Fulsom. His film score work includes the last two Bond films and "Moulin Rouge," among others. His studio partners, Nana Tsiboe, Simon Limbrick, Muhammed Ahsan Papu and Joji Hirota (sounds like a good cast for a World album, doesn't it?) have similar track records.

This is a surprising, beautiful record, based on the constant innovation and resourcefulness that the best percussionists (Lloyd Wilson comes immediately to mind as a fascinating, hypnotic, penultimately tasteful example) exercise in performance. It's all about finding the right moment. Make that the right millisecond. Through nine cuts and just under an hour, "Network of Sparks" finds the right milliseconds. It is positive, cerebral, meditative and a wonderful find. 

div5.jpg (6128 bytes)


Click here to return to the Network of Sparks page






div1.jpg (6017 bytes)