As Leake describes it, he made repeated trips to Roos’s home studio on Squam Lake in New Hampshire, loading up whatever percussion he’d need for a particular set of tracks — Indian tablas, African balafon, Indonesian gamelan — and adding a new layer with each visit. In many cases, he would mix the flavors of different traditions. “Na Yella Bo” matches a 12/8 African Dagomba rhythm with a 12-beat alegría flamenco cycle; it’s played with, among other things, gung-gong bass drum, cajón, and handclaps. On “Geo,” he shares credit with one of his mentors, the MIT Indian-music scholar George Ruckert, using one of Ruckert’s ginti rhythmic patterns but bringing in turntablist (and fellow Club d’Elfer) Mister Rourke rather than tablas. Leake also asked fellow New England Conservatory faculty member Ken Schaphorst to orchestrate the jazziest of the tunes here, “Smile.”
One of the players from “Smile,” revered reed-and-flute man Stan Strickland, will be part of the Ryles Cubist line-up, which will also include the Leakes, Roos, keyboardist Steve Hunt, bassist Brad Barrett, and drummer Marty Wirt, with another guest from the album, Noam Sender, on ney and vocals.
The fourth annual Jazz Week kicks off this Friday (April 23) and runs through May 2. As usual, Jazz Week is designed to attract gigs as well as create them — if you’re playing jazz somewhere in Boston, then you are Jazz Week. This year’s theme is the appropriately townie-centric “Made in Boston, Played in Boston.” There will be a special performance-discussion honoring local jazz educator Charlie Banacos (Boston Public Library, May 1), who died this past year, as well as jazz-tap extravaganzas, educational programs, and tons of club shows. Hit jazzboston.org for the complete story.
QUARTET OF HAPPINESS | Scullers, DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | May 18 at 8 pm | $18 | 617.562.4111 or scullersjazz.com | JERRY LEAKE’S CUBIST | Ryles, 212 Hampshire St, Cambridge | April 23 at 9:30 pm | $10 | 617.876.9330 or ryles.com