German drummer and composer Sy Joynet started out playing violin before switching to the drum set at the age of 16. He became adept enough to win the Grand Prix du Jury at a jazz festival in Dunkirk, France, with his trio. Pursuing a passion for Brazilian jazz, he played with Brazilian musicians in Hamburg, combining tropical influences with inspiration from progressive jazz artists such as Steve Coleman, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny and Chick Corea. Joynet, who is also quite accomplished on piano and synthesizer, came to Long Beach, California, to record an album with guitarist Allen Hinds and bassist Alphonso Johnson, and caught the ear of McLaughlin, who signed him to his Abstract Logix label in the early 2000s. Bass giants Johnson and Victor Wooten appeared on Joynet’s album Drum Alarm (Motionless), as well, alternating tracks with Joynet’s frequent bassist Ronaldo Nascimento. Joynet and Johnson team up on the thrilling “Special Mace,” a fusiony space-age track displaying Joynet’s mastery of synthesizer textures as well as his thunderous skills behind the drum set. Johnson, a former member of fusion giants Weather Report, supplies the loose and funky bottom notes on electric bass, anchoring the track in terra firma even as it soars into the stratosphere. The track further reveals the influence of Corea’s Return to Forever, whose music Joynet has also recorded.