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Arun Ghosh: A Very British-Asian Jazz Head-Space

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If clarinetist/composer Arun Ghosh continues as he's going there's a danger he'll soon dethrone saxophonist Gilad Atzmon as the UK's hardest-working jazz musician. In between gigs, festival appearances and European tours, Ghosh is busy writing music for theatre, film, dance and multi-media events. His relatively short recording career has been marked by a refusal to stand still and a desire to explore. Two highly acclaimed albums, Northern Namaste (Camoci Records, 2008) and Primal Odyssey (Camoci Records, 2011) celebrated Ghosh's British Asian background and his affinity for--besides jazz--rock, punk and dance rhythms. Now, Ghosh expands his horizons with A ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arun Ghosh: A South Asian Suite

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One second? No. Five seconds? Getting there. Ten? Almost. Fourteen seconds. That's how long it takes. Fourteen seconds into “The Gypsies Of Rajasthan," and the first of A South Asian Suite's irresistibly danceable grooves jumps out of the speakers. The idea that jazz is a music for dancing may sometimes seem a rather alien notion these days, but British-Asian musician Arun Ghosh--clarinetist, composer and bandleader--hasn't lost sight of this crucial characteristic. Of course, Ghosh isn't just drawing on the traditions of jazz. A South Asian Suite is, in his own words, an “Indo-Jazz chamber work" inspired by his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arun Ghosh: A South Asian Suite

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Clarinetist/composer Arun Ghosh's first two albums catapulted him to the forefront of the UK jazz scene. The British-Asian's beguilingly eclectic influences from India, the Middle East and UK urban culture spawned music on Northern Namaste (Camoci Records, 2008) and Primal Odyssey (Camoci Records, 2011) that interwove haunting melodies, groove-driven ensemble play and ecstatic soloing. Ghosh won the approval of both mainstream jazz fans and World Music aficionados, becoming a regular performer at festivals, clubs and melas alike. Here, Ghosh returns with an Indo-Jazz suite inspired by the people, landscapes and music of Bangladesh India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arun Ghosh: Primal Odyssey

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Clarinetist Arun Ghosh's debut, Northern Namaste (Camoci Records, 2008), signaled the arrival of a significant musician/composer on the UK jazz scene. Blending Indian and western instruments, Ghosh drew 12 musicians from Indian folk and jazz traditions to create something utterly fresh sounding; lyrical and highly melodic, celebratory and swinging, Ghosh's obvious virtuosity on clarinet was a thrilling bonus. Primal Odyssey sees Ghosh head a leaner quintet. Leaner, too, the instrumentation, with the tabla, sitar, harmonium, dhulak, bayan, piano and strings that colored Northern Namaste making way for just three reeds, bass and drums. Though stripped-down, if anything, Primal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Arun Ghosh: Primal Odyssey

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Primal Odyssey, the second album from British/Asian clarinetist and composer Arun Ghosh, is yet more evidence that the Northwest of England is a creative center for some of the most stylish contemporary jazz. Admittedly, Ghosh is now based in London, but the towns of his formative years must take some of the credit for nurturing and encouraging his talents. As a writer and performer, Ghosh is developing a formidable reputation, which this album can only enhance. The influence of Ghosh's upbringing--"conceived in Calcutta, bred in Bolton, matured in Manchester," as he puts it--comes over strongly on Primal ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Arun Ghosh: Primal Odyssey

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Arun GhoshPrimal OdysseyCamoci Records2011 There you are, waiting for the next Indo-Jazz album to arrive, and then two come along at the same time. October 2011 has already seen the release of Grand Union Orchestra's If Paradise (Red Gold), and now here comes clarinetist Arun Ghosh's Primal Odyssey. It has been a long wait too, in Britain anyway, particularly for Indo-Jazz with a Bengali flavor--since Ghosh's debut set, Northern Namaste (Camoci), and pianist Zoe Rahman and her reeds-playing brother, Idris Rahman's Where Rivers Meet (Manushi), both released in ...



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