Billy Martin & G. Calvin Weston: Live at Houston Hall

[4 August 2006]

By Mark W. Adams

Live at Houston Hall is another recording from 2002, and pairs Martin with Lounge Lizards co-conspirator G. Calvin Weston for a celebration of the tenth anniversary of their first duo release, Percussion Duets.  They obviously compliment each other well, and “Top-side City” discloses a near-unbelievable synchronicity between four sticks and four feet.  Not expectedly, this duo recording is denser than Martin solo.  Yet, the pair also uses space to their advantage: “Talking Drums” is funky, spacious, and wholly charming.  Parts 1 and 2 of “Agoxixi” explore the intersection of tribal percussion and free jazz, with Weston briefly employing a scattershot trumpet.  The vocal effects and propulsive twin bass drums within “New Moon” make it an album highlight.  Weston’s voice is a prominent feature of this recording, and he often screams his delight during inspired and intense moments of interplay.  Though I won’t be screaming the praises of these two releases, I will—even as a non-drummer—tell you that the two hours are engaging and entertaining.  Excuse the pun, but I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit that these releases prove: drum’s not dead.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/billy-martin-g-calvin-weston-live-at-houston-hall/