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Jim Brock


With more than 40 years at his craft, Jim Brock has proven to be an innovator in the world of drums and percussion. On this recording, originally released in 1985, Jim teamed up with many of the artists on the Windham Hill label, and the results were an expansive and groundbreaking work that redefined the role of percussion in song. Drums and percussion fluctuate from the backbone of the groove (as on a tune like "Red Bud") to the centerpiece of the songs("Banana Rag,) from familiar rhythms to abstract sound experiments ("Ode to a New York Cab Driver". )

And, on top of all that, Brock is simply one of the best drummers alive, period. He maintains the drummer's perfect balance, at total ease in the spaces between vibe, feel, groove, song, and precision. He is a drummer's drummer, a master of the traditional set and world percussion instruments alike, often combining many kinds of drums into one seamless work of beauty.

These qualities have placed him in literally hundreds of sessions, with artists as diverse in style as Pasajes is in sound: from Janis Ian, Joe Cocker, and Joe Walsh to Kathy Mattea, Hootie and the Blowfish, and James McMurtry. Pasajes is a must for percussionists,musicians, and music lovers, and also an essential part of any audiophile's collection.
Percussionist Jim Brock seems to have put this blowing session together as an opportunity for him to play with Mel Lewis, whom he had met working with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. But it is more than just a busman's holiday for drummers. In fact, it reflects the eclecticism of a musician whose resumé includes work with rock, pop, jazz, R&B, blues, country, folk, and new age stars. Dick Oatts provides most of the flute work as the tunes veer off stylistically after the opener,

"Awakenings," which sounds like it could have been on a Native American album. Thereafter, there are hints of new age, free jazz, big band, and Latin music, sometimes on the same track. The album's purpose comes into focus on "Reunion," a percussion duet between Brock and Lewis that was improvised and that often sounds like the backing track for a Santana song. Issued on a small label in 1985, Pasajes didn't have much chance commercially, but it has attracted its adherents over the years, and in 2002 Gaff Music gave it a CD reissue.

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