Chad "Chadzilla" Johnson has kept time for a slew of local musicians in addition to filling the drum throne for his main projects, Double Parked, Chadzilla & the Asteroids and Chadzilla3. Here, he teams up with Ed Contreras for the world-percussion-driven endeavor known as Istari, which got its start performing for children in local schools and libraries. On their self-titled debut, Johnson and Contreras take listeners on a percussive world tour of sorts, exploring African rhythms with dueling djembes on the opening cut; incorporating Cuban flourishes on "Spogli and the Mighty Guaguanco" and "Dos Gatos Perdidos," two of the album's finer tracks; and taking forays into Middle Eastern and Brazilian realms. Whatever territory these cats happen to be charting, it makes for a fantastic voyage.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.