Heartbeat: Best of Kodo 25th Anniversary
Before Kodo, traditional Japanese drumming songs usually were based on one melody and one rhythm, played several times according to strict rules. Kodo introduced improvisation, polyrhythms, jazz phrasing and Western classical forms, helping to revitalize the genre—and music—in the process. More recently they’ve incorporated instruments and music from around the world into their sound. “Berimbau Jam” drops samba rhythm and berimbau, a one-stringed Afro-Brazilian percussion instrument, into the mix, showing off the troupe’s ability to swing. “Strobe’s Nanafushi” incorporates a club-friendly snare-bass loop to take Kodo to the disco. “Iodori” bubbles along on an African rhythm, accompanied by flute lines that could have come from Ireland, South Africa’s Zulu jive or Japanese court music.