214

Sunny Jain Collective: Avaaz

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Sunny Jain Collective: Avaaz 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 poem set to music by Jain. The song then moves into a more free jazz improvisational mode, shifting back to its Eastern roots at the conclusion.

One of the album's most welcoming moments is "Johnny Black (yep, that Johnny), an odd-tempo tune in which Rez Abbasi works magic on the sitar-guitar. The instrument, which became popular as George Harrison and Brian Jones brought Eastern influences into the realm of pop music, is used here not only as a lead instrument, but also as the glue that brings all the others together.

Also of note is the beautiful ballad "Meri Bhavana (My Aspirations), a Hindi song that receives a respectful Westernized arrangement. Sinha sings passionately to a background dominated by bassist Gary Wang. You might not understand the words, but the melody and feel take you to a more peaceful and quiet place than the noisy streets of New York. The lyrics (translated on the insert) speak of spiritual cleansing from egotism, anger and envy while embracing the virtues of friendship, joy and peace of mind.

Listen also to "Wo Xiang Ni (Mandarin for "I Think of You ), which begins with dreamy, multilayered vocals and then goes into a mantra-inspired mode that showcases the fine chops of saxophonist Steve Welsh.

Avaaz leads the listener on a journey of discovery with surprises everywhere.


Track Listing: Sialkot; Avaaz; Pink City; Johnnie Black; Meri Bhavana; Awaara Hoon; Wo Xiang Ni; Baraat; Lazaro.

Personnel: Sunny Jain: drumset/dhol/laptop sounds; Rez Abbasi: guitar/sitar-guitar; Gary Wang: acoustic bass; Steve Welsh: tenor & soprano saxophones/effects; Samita Sinha: vocals.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sinj Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Shimmer And Melt" CD/LP/Track Review Shimmer And Melt
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Star-Spangled Voltage" CD/LP/Track Review Star-Spangled Voltage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Eleven Promises" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Promises
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!