World Beat Rhythms: Beyond the Drum Circle – Cuba
Maria Martinez and Ed Roscetti
$16.95 (book and CD)
Hal Leonard Corporation

Percussive Notes
Vol. 42, No.1. February 2004

Maria Martinez and Ed Roscetti use the Cuban rumba, mozambique and conga as the basis for three “world beat” compositions that teach some traditional Cuban rhythms on a host of different instruments.  The authors start each section of the book with a “rhythmic index’ that teaches the rhythms each instrument will play in a call-and-response format.  There is a picture, short history, and rhythmic notation for each instrument.  Instruments used in the songs include drumset, djun-djun, Udu drums, metal guiro, Thai sticks, bata drums, cajon, surdo, shekeres, klong yaw (a drum from Thailand, like a djembe), doumbek, asonga (hybrid standing drum by Remo), tubano (another drum by Remo), tubano (another drum by Remo), and various exotic cymbals.  Some of these instruments are not originally from Cuba, but since these songs are based on these rhythms and are intended for use in a drum circle, any drum could conceivably be used. 

The study of each style culminates with a lengthy chart that often uses a half-time funk-inspired drumset part underneath traditional folkloric rhythmic patterns.  The songs are usually repetitive, with groups of different instruments joining the ensemble with each new section.  Each chart contains several unison “breaks” and some improvisational opportunities, and players are encouraged to write their own rhythms to suit the composition.  The accompanying CD contains musical examples of each rhythmic pattern and song (with and without drumset).

Terry O’Mahoney