Trilok Gurtu: The Beat of Love
The instantly infectious groove of “Maya” is a fabulous start. Indian film singer Kumar’s engaging vocal over the cheery ethnic bounce delivers a sweet shot of good-time, the first of many to come. Kidjo’s warm performance on “A Friend” could find a comfy home on American R&B radio if only the words were in English. In contrast, Keita’s otherworldly Malian style raises “Have We Lost Our Dream?” to the level of exaltation.
There are so many textures and flavors to choose from here. “Passing By” is dark and sparse, Diop’s quiet vocals are insidiously sensual. “Jhulelal” and “Ingoma” retreat into the profound meditative pulses we tend to expect from Indian traditional musics. “Tuhe” and other tracks are rounded out by a complementary string section. “Ola Bombay” has a majestic triple threat of vocalists: Diop, Nandini Sirkar and Sabine Kabongo, while the Desais levitate to the roof on “Dance With My Lover”. The closing track is a brocaded Indian instrumental that brings listeners down to peaceful relaxation, a cathartic calm. Gurtu has helped make world fusion into a truly rewarding art form since the 80s, and this is a major career highlight for him.
Track Listing: Maya; A Friend; Have We Lost Our Dream?; The Beat of Love; Passing By; Jhulelal; Ingoma; Tuhe; Ola Bombay; Dance With My Lover; Peace of the Five Elements.
Personnel: [Collective:] Gurtu, drums, tabla, percussion, programming, vocals, shakers; Roop Kumar, Salif Keita, Nandini Sirkar, Angelique Kidjo, Sabine Kabongo, Wasis Diop, Jabu Khanyile, Sonaali Kumar Rathod, Mryudula Desai, Bharati Desai, vocals; Wally Badarou, keyboards,
Record Label: Blue Thumb Records
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock