REVIEW | Wild Hands

The Journal of the Percussive Arts Society Vol. 43. No. 6 June 2005

Orlando Cotto, Marimba
Orlando Cotto is joined on every track of this recording by other marimbists and/or Percussionists. Most of the selections are duos for two marimbas, many of them inspired by Latin-American traditional music. Examples of these include “Ensayo Rustico” by Amaury Veray, Si Te Toco” by Juan M. Campos and “La Comparsa” by Ernesto Lecuona. Cotto shares the musical material in these selections with marimbist Juan Alamo. This rich popular flavor is balanced by more standard Western repertoire, including Akira Yuyama’s “Divertimento for Marimba and Also Saxophone” (Randall Smith, Saxophone), Fredrik Andersson’s The Lonelyness of Santa Claus” (Kunihiko Komori, Marimba) and the charming arrangement of Maurice Ravel’s “Alborada Del Gracioso.” Yuyama’s “Divertimento” is handled with precision and grace, while Cotto and Komori give an intense, yet chilling rendition of “The Lonelyness of Santa Claus” On the title track. “Wild Hands,” the listener is treated to a kaleidoscope of sonic possibilities, including bars struck with the shaft, glissandos, dead strokes, and vocalization from the performers. The variety of styles presented on Wild Hands will make it appeal to the general listener as well as those looking specifically for marimba recordings.

-Scott Herring