Brian Adler is truly both a drummer and a percussionistin his world, the drum set coexists peacefully with a dizzying array of ethnic percussion instruments as equal partners in a myriad of musical possibilities. His work with vocalist Sunny Kim in the Prana Trio
is a case in point. His nimble, sensitive approach to the drum set is matched only by his similarly accomplished work on cajon, tablas, and a host of other ethnic percussion instruments. Never getting lost in his own chops, always totally plugged in to his surroundings in the moment, Adler is the sort of player who always makes the musicians he's playing with sound better. As a composer, he exhibits many of the same characteristicshis writing is consistently intriguing but not overly elaborate. His music is not simple, but there's an economy and a sparseness to it that invites listeners in.
David Wayne spoke with Adler recently, about his entry points into music and how they have led to a truly unique project, The Helium Music Project (Circavision Productions, 2011), an ongoing, download-only compendium of music created with different musicians in different locations all over the globe.