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Artist Profiles

Indian Ocean: Deep, Vast, Free-Flowing

By Published: December 31, 2005

After a long haul, the band released Jhini (Kosmic Music) in May, 2003. The album won the AVMax award for the year's best-produced album. It's a more mysticism-laden disc, and features the group singing in English for the first time on "After the War." The title track puts to music a poem by Kabir, the great Indian saint-poet of the 15th century. "Nam Myo Ho captures the moment of Gautam's soul awakening on his journey to becoming Buddha, the enlightened one. Other essential songs are "Bhor and "Des Mera, a tribute to India.

In 2004 Indian Ocean composed their first soundtrack for a major full-length film. Black Friday, released in January 2005, is based on the 1993 Mumbai bombings. The album finds the band abandoning their conventional acoustic jazz style, moving in a more electric direction with saxophone, flute, clarinet, sarangi, brass, woodwinds and keyboards. It's a darker and more hanting album in contrast to their earlier albums, which were celebrations of life. The three songs with lyrics and six beautiful instrumentals are stylish, powerful and a sheer treat for fans of electric jazz.

Despite the social meaning behind each of their songs, Indian Ocean refuses to be a political band. They hate to attach brands or genres to their distinctive sound. Certainly the sound that they create is a result of their daily living in an urban setting, and a tribute to modernity.

Selected Discography

Indian Ocean, Black Friday (Times Music, 2004)
Indian Ocean, Jhini (Kosmic Music, 2003)
Indian Ocean, Kandisa (Times Music, 2000)
Indian Ocean, Desert Rain (Kosmic Music, 1997)

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