|"A pioneer in world music"
New York Times
With Karuna, Drake, Jones and Rudolph bring their unique and evolved rhythm and sonic languages to the fore, reaching to inspire any audience though spirited dialogue.
The name Karuna reflects their ongoing research into the connection of the inner life to
musical expression and speaks to the idea of creative action as a gesture of compassion.
C. Daniel Dawson
Hamid Drake: drumset, udu drums, gourd drum, percussion
Ralph M. Jones: soprano and tenor saxophones, hulusli, ney, bamboo flutes, sipsi, c and alto flutes, bass clarinet, spoken word
Adam Rudolph: handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija), electronic keyboards and samples, cajon, udu drums, thumb pianos, marimbula, sintir, mouth bow, selya overtone flute, gongs, dusun'goni, percussion
Karuna, which means compassion in Tibetan Buddhism, is the name of a new trio whose members collaborative history goes backs almost 50 years.
With Karuna, Drake, Jones and Rudolph bring their unique and evolved rhythm and sonic languages to the fore, reaching to inspire any audience though spirited dialogue. The name Karuna reflects their ongoing research into the connection of the inner life to musical expression and speaks to the idea of creative action as a gesture of compassion.
What makes Karuna's music magic is the special history and decades of shared experiences among the musicians.
Hamid and Adam first met in 1969, in a downtown Chicago drum shop when they were 14 years old. They began to study and listen to music together and by 1972 were performing regularly with the great Baba Fred Anderson. In 1978 Don Cherry invited Adam and Hamid to Europe to perform there for their first time. They lived and studied in Don's farmhouse in the Swedish countryside before embarking on a concert tour. This marked the beginning of years of performing with Don, who became a central figure in their musical development as he generously transmitted so much of his creative wisdom. Hamid and Adam also toured together with Yusef Lateef, Pharaoh Sanders, Hassan Hakmoun, Hu: Vibrational, Mandingo Griot Society, and the Moving Pictures groups.
These experiences, along with their shared Chicago roots, and love for rhythms and musics from around the world gives them a deep musical rapport and understanding. Regarding their creative outlook as drummers, Hamid says, "I have been developing a hand drum concept on the drum set while Adam is developing a drum set concept on his hand drums. When we play it is easy and natural: we 'hear' and understand one another.
Adam and Ralph met at the 1974 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival where they performed together in groups led by Kenne Cox and Charles Moore. These two important Detroit artists became mentors to them both, sharing knowledge and the fruitfulness of lifelong studiousness in music. In 1980 Ralph and Adam, along with Charles Moore, co-founded the Eternal Wind quartet which Adam remembers as "an ongoing research and development music laboratory."
Their continued journey has seen them performing and recording with the Moving Pictures group from 1991 to the present day, and as the Yèyí duet since 2010. In 1988 they started performing and recording with Yusef Lateef, and continued to work with him until to his passing in 2013. In a deep manifestation of the oral tradition, Yusef was a mentor who, over time, became a dear friend. Yusef often said: "The tradition is to sound like yourself" and urged them to "play your aboriginalness". This recording is a manifestation of their understanding of those ideas. As Ralph states "We are so grateful for the deep knowledge and spirit Brother Yusef Lateef transmitted to us."
In 1997, these three artists started to perform and record together in the Moving Pictures ensemble, and it was immediately clear that there was a special chemistry at play. Together they have researched into the science and mysticism of sound, as well as the cosmologies which are expressed through music making around the world. Through years of performing together they have developed a true alchemy and a unique sonic language. Understanding one other in both the intellectual and intuitive creative realms means that they have the freedom create spontaneously within their shared space. As Adam explains: "The idea behind making this recording was simple: to listen, be present and, through the voices of our instruments, share our imagination, feelings and ideas."
Press and Reviews
"The evening was transformed into an extraordinary and lyrical happening with music of ethereal light"
- IL GIORNALE
"Their music is full of rhythmical vitality and creates a spiritual language of creation that isn't exclusive, but opens the senses to the endlessly deep possibilities of sound." - Jakob Bækgaard, All About Jazz
" Bristling with energy but balanced with moments of uncanny serenity..laced with transcendent funk grooves and virtuosic soloing." - Downbeat Magazine
"This is music as medicine to help get through the day and smile." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG
"Absolutely incredible!" - New York City Jazz Record
VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH ADAM RUDOLPH
LIVE CONCERT REVIEW - All About Jazz
October 2016 interview in NEW MUSIC USA - with videos on Adam Rudolph