Randy Gloss isn't just a world-class hand percussion virtuoso. He's not just an iconic educator in the percussion world, or a leader in his community. He's an avid artist, brimming with expansive vision and infectious enthusiasm, and on his debut solo album, ...The Ayes Have It, Vol 1: Self Portraits in Percussion, he gives us an intimate window into his rhythmic and sonic world.
The idea for a solo album was planted in his head by a close friend, percussionist, and radio DJ, Carlos Niño:
"I was first amazed by Gloss's creative rhythm arts when he joined Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Orchestra in 2001. One of the original hand drummer / percussionists in the group, I recall becoming an immediate fan of his from the moment he started his pandeiro solo amidst Rudolph's improvisational conducting of 30 other musicians. It was, (and is,) more than virtuosic, it was soulful and funky. Turns out, 13 years later, I may have had something to do with the concept for this beautiful album before you. Tuned to one of my inspired, enthusiastic channels, during an Organic Orchestra rehearsal in 2014, I made a meaningful plea. Randy reminded me 'It was you that told me I should, and must, record a solo record - and I did, so you're partially responsible.'"
Musing on this idea, Gloss seized the opportunity to go solo when his band, Hands On'Semble, voted against embarking on a new recording project. Being the only "aye" vote, Randy took his enthusiasm into his own hands and produced this stunning album, hence the title, The Ayes Have It. But in this case the phonetic "aye" represents more than affirmation. Playing on the sound "eye," and recognizing the eyes as two-way conduits for spiritual communication, Randy opened his mind and spirit to us, and provided us not just with a window into his musical soul, but music that offers us the chance for engagement, reflection, and transformation.
When we met with Randy (over beers) to discuss the release of this milestone album on Orenda Records, he was literally bubbling over with excitement. And his mantra was essentially, this is my gift to the world, and I just want it out there for people to hear. And through his broad sonic palate of drums, gongs, and percussion from all corners of the world, he's given us a music that sounds grounded in tradition, yet expansive and exploratory. One might be tempted to file this under the ambiguously problematic heading "world music," but in this case the term fits. Rather than implying that this music is simply non-western, in this case the music is actually pan-global. Through rhythm we can all speak to each other - it is the great unifier. And Randy Gloss has brought the sounds of the percussion world into his home and transformed them into a sound that could resonate throughout our planet.
And there you have it. We couldn't be more proud to release this incredible album on Orenda Records. It is truly the embodiment of the artistry we value and hope to support. Randy Gloss's ...The Ayes Have It, Vol. 1: Self Portraits In Percussion is a gift to music. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.