Often cited as Egypt's Ambassador of Rhythm, all-universe percussionist Hossam Ramzy assembles a true world-fusion gala, featuring virtuoso percussionists integrating Eastern and Western modalities into an all-inclusive celebration. Framed by alternating personnel on a per-track basis, Ramzy is the central force behind these sessions. Augmented by instrumentalists employing keys, guitars, bass, and electronics amid vocalists and strings performers, venerable drummers Manu Katche (France) and Billy Cobham (USA) lend their wares on select works.
Ramzy, Ossama El Hendy (keyboards, sequencer, & bass), Phil Thornton (E.bow guitars), Mohammed Ali (electric violin & oud), and Cobham align on the piece titled "Six Teens." With melodic treatments and the sparkling coalition of disparate instrumentation, the music takes on an existential fusion stance, gushing with prismatic colors and a pumping, medium-paced Indo-rock groove. Here, Cobham's slippery snare work and contrapuntal polyrhythmic tom fills help propagate a bustling dynamic, offset by a sometimes temperate East meets West vibe. Nonetheless, the electro-organic stylization yields a near flawless harmonization process. Augmented by brisk and complex unison chorus breakouts, "Six Teens" offers but one perspective contained within the multidimensional metrics set forth throughout the program, which to some, may allude to a highly danceable affair as well.
Enamored by a superb audio engineering process, Rock the Tabla is a jewel among world music expositions, and a comprehensive statement by Ramzy who is no stranger to cross-pollinating divergent genres, evidenced by his global first-call session status. Indeed, a top pick for 2011, irrespective of any strict genre-specific classifications.