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.

Title: Avaaz | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sinj Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by John Kelman
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "All L.A. Band" CD/LP/Track Review All L.A. Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 1, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.