All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

222

Amit Chaudhuri: Found Music

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Calcutta-born singer Amit Chaudhuri's follow-up to This Is Not Fusion (Babel, 2010) is another captivating and deeply idiosyncratic fusion/not fusion of Hindustani classical music, jazz, rock and blues. It's a style Chaudhuri, with several albums of "pure" Hindustani music already behind him, began developing in 2004 with the Amit Chaudhuri Band, which features his singing alongside electric guitars and keyboards, acoustic trumpet and tabla. If you haven't heard the band before, you're in for a treat—dreamy raga-based discursions which incorporate the acid rock songbook, trumpeter Miles Davis' modal legacy, Delta blues and retro Tin Pan Alley.

The music, to its advantage, sounds like it was created by a simple combination of osmosis and memory. But Chaudhuri, who is also a novelist, poet and academic, and a Fellow of Britain's Royal Society of Literature, can set out an intellectually rigorous rationale. To paraphrase him approximately, the band explores a syncretic collage of diverse cultural traditions, weaving snatches of British and American tunes ("found music") onto a codified Hindustani musical tapestry, and creating, not fusion, but a unique space in which each element takes on a new life. You don't need to know any of this to connect with the music, however; all you need is a nodding acquaintance with Hindustani music and a reasonably broad knowledge of post-1950s British and American jazz and rock.

On This Is Not Fusion, Chaudhuri recontextualized George Gershwin's "Summertime" and Eric Clapton's "Layla" within Hindustani raga. Found Music does the same with Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller's "On Broadway," the Byrds' "So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star," Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto De Aranjuez," Doors Wide Open' "Break On Through," The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood," The Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" and Leonard Cohen's "Blue Raincoat." Sometimes these tunes introduce a track, sometimes they only reveal themselves further in; briefly and infrequently they're sung and played straight; mostly they're reclothed (as distinct from recalibrated) and then riffed on within Hindustani harmonic and rhythmic structures.

On the band's second album, the production is better and the sound richer than before, and this time out Chaudhuri puts aside the guitar to concentrate on his singing. His caressing, perfectly pitched tenor voice is delightful. The lineup is the same as on This Is Not Fusion, save for the inclusion of a new bassist, Sanket Bhattacharya, on nine of the ten tracks. Jonathan Impett's lovely trumpet glows again, and Prasenjit Ghosal's guitar and Indrajit Dey's keyboards move elegantly between Haight-Ashbury and an area akin to Miles Davis' In A Silent Way (Columbia, 1969) or early Weather Report.

A quirky, one-of-a-kind, little piece of magic.

Track Listing: On Broadway (Postcolonial Version); Saraswati; One Fine Day; Country Hustle; Rain; Messages From The Underground (Break On Through); So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star; Good Vibrations; Norwegian Wood; Famous Blue Raincoat Suite.

Personnel: Amit Chaudhuri: vocals; Prasenjit Ghosal: guitar; Adam Moore: guitar (5); Amyt Datta: slide guitar (4); Indrajit Dey: keyboards; Bart Dietrich: keyboards (10); Jonathan Impett: trumpet; Sanket Bhattacharya: bass; Mainak Nag Choudhury: bass (8); Ashok Mukherjee: tabla.

Title: Found Music | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Babel Label

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Somewhere In The Upstream" CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere In The Upstream
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Trio Exaltation" CD/LP/Track Review Trio Exaltation
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2018
Read "Straight Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Ahead
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 26, 2018
Read "Atwood Suites" CD/LP/Track Review Atwood Suites
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: August 7, 2018