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Global Junction / 23 July 2004

RHYTHM MAGAZINE   Review by Nick Cohen

The mood lighting shows an array of percussion instruments. Tabla, darabuka, a Trilok-esque drum kit, bongos, various cymbals and shakers and electronic gadgetry are all used to stunning effect throughout the evening. Prior to one duo piece written in 7, flautist Ronu Majumdar praises Pete Lockett on his depth of knowledge and prowess on the tabla. What follows is a masterful display by both. Pete further enthrals us with a couple of solo numbers including one where he plays an intricate 5 against 7 pattern on some bells, and triggers loops over which he solos, while vocalising rhythms.Joining Pete for the evening are guitarist Antonio Forcione and bassist Davide Mantovani. Both are excellent musicians in their own right. The performances have everything from the subtle intimacy of the beginning raga Sunrise to the explosive Zawinul flavoured closing piece. Pete’s strapline reads: Percussion you’ll never forget. How very very true……

TOTAL MUSIC MAGAZINE  Review by David Davies

The result of just three days rehearsal, Global Junction – an ad hoc ensemble featuring percussionist Pete Lockett, guitarist Antonio Forcione, flautist Ronu Majumdar and bassist Davide Mantovani - will surely be remembered as one of the highlights of this year’s Rhythm Sticks Festival. A formidably talented four-piece playing in numerous different formations, Global Junction covered all bases from full Indo-Classical pieces to propulsive acoustic jazz. Best of all, the open format allowed each player the chance to shine. The animated Forcione on his own piece, Knock on Wood, Majumdar during a hypnotic solo interlude, Mantovani whose physical resemblance to the late Jaco Pastorius was paralleled by stunning capacity for fretboard defying sonic trauma, and Lockett, who was inventive throughout, was a vital anchor for the diverse ensemble pieces. Top honours, however, go to an explosive jazzy segment featuring Lockett, Forcione and Mantovani where they hit an infectious groove reminiscent of John McLaughlin’s trio work.
Accompanied throughout by the elaborate video of the Yeast films – who combined the fast cutting of live onstage filming with a series of imaginative pre-recorded segments – Global Junction showed just what can be achieved when gifted musicians leave themselves open to new influences.

MIKE DOLBEAR.COM   Review by Ed Stern

If it’s Friday, it must be Pete Lockett…I’d never heard Pete Lockett play live before. I knew he’s played with and for pretty much everyone else on almost everything. I knew he can play pretty much anything, and in any style. Believe me, I was itching to find fault with something, anything. It was not to be. It is no surprise whatsoever that Pete Lockett is Britain’s first-call “ethnic percussion” player. He’s an absolute monster. Looking back on it, I’m sure there were some instruments he didn’t play. But he was frighteningly virtuosic on tabla, drumkit, electronics, cajon, bongos…even a shaker attached to a foot pedal. And it wasn’t just flash licks and “here’s one I made earlier” chops, it was living breathing music. Lockett’s excellent band (including Indian classical flautist Ronu Majumdar and the fantastic Antonio Forcione on guitar) played totally in the moment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band listen so hard to each other. Admittedly, they’d only been together for three days (!) but I can’t imagine that their virtuosity and streams of musical ideas will ever overwhelm their sensitivity. I tells ya, bands like this are in danger of giving fusion a good name.In an all-star band, Pete Lockett outshone the rest. It’s hard to know what aspect of his playing was most impressive. Just how he manages to mic all his instruments up, I fear I’ll never fully comprehend (I remember when lightweight piezo mics became available in the 80’s, some percussionists just mic’d their wrists rather than each instrument. This worked fine, as long as they didn’t have to sneeze). I’ve rarely heard anything as funky as him playing a box. OK, it was a cajon (an amazing beast of a cajon which looked like a 30’s wireless), but it sounded way better than I’ve ever sounded on any instrument. I was nearly going to forgive him for this when he effortlessly transferred his immaculate tabla technique on to a tamborim (like a tambourine only without the jingles). At this point I just gave up and sulked.It wasn’t just a hand-drummer’s treat. What looked like wooden timbales to Pete’s left turned out to be a wonderful stand-up minikit. Right hand played closed x-hats and snare, left hand played vertical bass drum, left foot played that rarest of beasts a low-hat mounting two bell-like and the right foot was for standing on. Even laying down the heaviest of funk grooves, Pete remained perfectly centred and balanced, with no need to cross his hands or arms. The drum kit is always changing; as new technologies come in and mass production drives costs down, I wonder if we’ll see such unorthodox kits become a little less unusual. Anyhow, it was an inspirational gig, and a great end to a fantastic festival.


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