Every time you feel a little jaded about jazz, out comes an album that is completely surprising. This was the case with Avaaz, by a collective led by percussionist Sunny Jain, who brings his Asian heritage into the jazz realm with incredibly welcome results. The opening track, Sialkot (the title refers to a city in Punjab now part of Pakistan), begins with an Eastern feel. The words, sung by vocalist Samita Sinha, were taken from an Urdu ...read more
Kaash and the Sunny Jain Collective JVC Jazz Festival: Indo Beat"Blue NoteNew York, NY June 19, 2006
Having been following the Sunny Jain Collective since the release of Mango Festival (Zoho, 2004), but never quite able to hear them live, I was really looking forward to this show, especially since the release of Avaaz. Samita Sinha, who was added to the Collective since Mango Festival, also leads her own group, Kaash, with a new ...read more
The Sunny Jain Collective is part of a growing group of musicians whose roots are from South Asia (primarily India, but also countries like Cambodia and Thailand) and are naturally cross-fertilizing with other practitioners. Artists like Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa are developing a new kind of Indo-jazz fusion. The leaders of this movement are usually first-generation Americans with strong ties to the music of their parents' homeland. Rather than feeling trapped, cut off or shortchanged, and ...read more
Dusty streets. Delicate whispers of silk against skin. Caravans slowly crossing the desert sands. The opening bars of the Sunny Jain Collective's debut disc As Is conjure mysterious, exotic visions. But soon the melody of the traditional Indian song "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram" gets whisked away into lands pioneered by the giants of American jazz.
Composed of Jain on drums, Steve Welsh on tenor saxophone and effects, Rez Abbasi on guitar and sitar, and Gary Wang on acoustic bass, the ...read more
New York based drummer/composer Sunny Jain has garnered a few awards in his day to complement his degrees, academic positions, performances and so on. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the young artist brings quite a bit to the forefront, witnessed on his impressive debut. Jain receives excellent support from the increasingly prolific guitarist Rez Abbasi who also employs a sitar guitar to great effect. Meanwhile saxophonist Steve Walsh and the guitarist attain an obvious comfort zone as ...read more