McDonald leads the beat on 'Drumquestra'

Published: Thursday | April 9, 2009

Percussionist Larry McDonald performs at the Canal Room in New York. - Photo by Habte Selassie

RESPECTED JAMAICAN percussionist Larry McDonald's debut album, Drumquestra, is to be released on June 2.

According to New York City's Shore Fire Media, the album is produced by Sidney Mills, the veteran keyboardist who has recorded and toured with big reggae acts like Steel Pulse.

The 15-track set will be released and distributed by MPCR Music. A statement from Shore Fire Media said it features 20 different percussive instruments on reggae, dub and world music songs.

A review of the album, by Shore Fire Media, reads:

"Songs like Drumquestra and Mento In 3 showcase the primal elements of ancient melodies and rhythms that have shaped modern music. If you think that the tribal Drumquestra sounds like it was recorded in a jungle, you'd be right: Larry, his drum orchestra, and dueling scat vocalists Anjali and Richie Paray recorded the song in the Green Grotto caves at Runaway Bay on Jamaica's north coast."

Drumquestra is not all instrumentals. Reggae legend Toots Hibbert and poet Mutabaruka make appearances, so too deejay Dollarman on the dancehall number, Head Over Heels, which is the album's lead single.

McDonald has been recording and touring for over 40 years. He has worked with the original Wailers, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer as well as African-American protest artiste Gill Scott-Heron and punk band Bad Brains.