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Kala Rupa

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

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Percussionist Greg Ellis is already known for his vibrant drumming in the "alternative world" group Vas. He has also performed with Mickey Hart and Billy Idol. On this solo effort, Ellis generates beguiling drum tapestries filled with potent grooves and melodic playing. (Yes, drums can be melodic.) Each of the 10 percussive "forms" on this album is augmented by one or two other instruments--cello, jaw harp, kamancheh, hammered dulcimer, or bansuri--and the results range from dark and dreamy ("Form 5") to uptempo and animated ("Form 8"). Ellis's bandmate from Vas, vocalist Azam Ali, lends her captivating voice to two tracks. Kala Rupa is a strong testament to the powerful magic of drumming. --Bryan Reesman
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Narada
  • ASIN: B00005Q3CY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,598 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Gryn on December 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
On Greg Ellis' first solo album, he doesn't so much divorce himself from his prior work (as one-half of the duo "Vas"), as go deeper into the percussive-trance style he has been developing over the past few years. While many of us tend to associate "drum solo" with the part of a rock concert where the rest of the band takes a breather while the drummer drones on for nearly a half-hour, Ellis' work on "Kala Rupa" shows that percussion can also have a fine level of finesse and precision to it. The variety of instruments, and the skill that Ellis brings to the table, enables the album to transcend many of the stereotypes of a "drummer's album", to emerge into a place which lends itself to deep meditation and concentration. Ellis' partner, Azam Ali, sings on a few of the songs on the album, which is an unexpected gift to fans of their Vas work. Highly Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
When you open the cd insert Greg Ellis explains why he called the cd Kala Rupa and why all of the songs are called "Forms" instead of using traditional song titles. Kala Rupa literally means Time Form.

He wants the listener to begin each track on neutral grounds, forming your own opinion and perception of the song and of the beautiful sounds of the instruments.

I've listened to this cd over and over and each song is amazing. All based on hand drums, he and other talented musicians get together and create a magical experience. Each song is extremely unique, all different rhythms, from all over the world.

I've listened to tracks on all sorts of "world music" cd's. I've sifted through artist after artist on Amazon... and I must say, Greg Ellis's Kala Rupa is a must have to any music collection.

Very easy to trance out to, to belly dance to, to make love to, to drive to, to party to, to mix with.

So buy it already!!
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Format: Audio CD
Greg Ellis is a true master of world percussion! Here, in "Kala Rupa: Explorations in Rhythm", he offers scintillating percussive conversations for frame drums, tabla, tombak, udu, nagara, cajon, karkaba and a host of other rung and beaten instruments from around the globe. Though most of the tracks include some sort of melodic accompaniment--bansuri flute, kamencheh, the exotic voice of Azam Ali, etc.--the true focus here is on the percussion. With different tones, textures and timbres, it creates melodies and harmonies all its own. The intricate and compelling rhythmic patterns change constantly, talking to you like lively friends and telling their evolving story from beginning to end. My personal favorite is track #10, with a joyful beat that just begs to be danced to. If you like the drumming of Greg Ellis, be sure to check out his work with singer Azam Ali as part of the duo Vas. Other recording artists who specialize in world percussion and the magic of rhythm are Mickey Hart and Gabrielle Roth.
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By A Customer on February 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Greg is a outrageously great musician. Form 3, with Azam Ali, is hypnotic and exactly what you would expect from Greg. However, this CD does not flow as a complete thematic musical work. Each song is named 'Form 1' through 'Form 10'. These songs are more like an experimental work in progress rather than a musical offering like you would expect on a CD. This is more like a reference than entertainment.
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Format: Audio CD
A side-project from Greg Ellis' work in superlative music duo Vas (as _Portals of Grace_ was for Ellis' musical partner Azam Ali), _Kala Rupa_ is an astonishingly vibrant album. The tracks, labelled simply as 'Forms', are predominantly explorations in rhythm, without vocals - although Azam Ali does sing on a couple of tracks. This is a percussionist's album, and full of infectious energy. [For anyone familiar with the rest of Vas' output, think track 5 on _In the Garden of Souls_]
There is a great variety in pace and instrumentation among the forms, offering something to suit every mood and ensuring that listening is never a dull experience. A large number of collaborators bring their talents to this album, and the result is a deeply 'organic' recording - one arising naturally from blending and experimentation with the instruments. Exhilarating.
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Format: Audio CD
is what "kala rupa" means. The music on this cd is so thick, so brilliantly textured. It's primarily drumming, but not only drumming. The first song is full-on driving drumming. The cd also has prominent influence & inspiration from the music of India & other places, & has some very ethereal, spacey moments. On the whole, it often makes me feel like I'm exploring a swamp. Exploring something anyway.
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