Dounoukan (Everybody's Drumming)
Yaya Diallo

By David Lilly

For anyone not working at or attending Bellarmine University (in the music department, anyway), Yaya Diallo's Dounoukan CD is an album of percussive music as well as a vehicle for travel - if you let it take you wherever it suggests to you. Each listener may take a distinctive journey, but all can share the manual and spiritual experience of Diallo's music.

Regardless of what's in the liner notes, throughout much of these 45 percussive minutes, for me there's an element of a really good marching band. In particular, "Moukolo/Sofadon" takes me back to late '60s high school marching band parades in my hometown. Not that this music is by any means amateurish; it's the rhythmic and heavy percussion and feeling that comes from that.

"Bara/Dounouba" conjures images of primal, cathartic dancing in some kind of ritual around a campfire. Though "Djomon/Dialogue of Drums" and "Noumou Toun Toun / Blacksmith" are not the same song with different names, both suggest a camel ride through the barren lands of your choice -- perhaps a desert on the other side of the world or the Badlands of South Dakota. All you have to do is listen, feel and let it take you.

In other words, if you dig all things percussive, this disc should be in your CD collection. If you want to really get involved, look for a copy of The Healing Drum, a book Diallo co-authored.