New Species

There’s nothing that quite matches the visceral energy of a piano and percussion duet. The jazz community has known this for several generations and the new classical community has caught on in recent years as well. However, what’s perhaps even more exciting—at least for me—is when the roles of piano and percussion blur as they do on “New Species,” co-composed by drummer Billy Martin and pianist Dave Burrell (and it sounds like it). Here, in this performance captured live at the U Penn in October 2005, the drums stroll melodically through an albeit microtonally and timbrally diverse set of “keys” while the piano maintains a steady groove.

—FJO