As civilizations developed around the world, music evolved alongside regional and cultural differences. The most basic of elements have always been there in common, but differences exist and continue to keep cultures apart. The human voice takes on various colors, even without language. Tuning may give one program preferences over another, depending on the listener’s ear. Then, there’s the instrumentation to deal with. The kanjeera, konokol and ghatam may be unfamiliar to many of us. Still, it's not at all difficult to recognize hands on drums, vocal chants and musical virtuosity in any form.
Jonas Hellborg and Shawn Lane take one obvious common thread in contemporary music and pair it with traditional Indian improvised music. The jazz umbrella does, indeed, stretch that far. Their electric bass and electric guitar could blend easily with any music. This time out, the formula casts a Mahavishnu shadow with exotic flavors that represent many cultures. Next time, it could easily originate from another corner of the globe.
Vocal scatting, virtuosic percussion and heavy jazz-fusion landscapes give the album an interesting face. Trading fours and stretching out individually, the artists interpret jazz from a mainstream point of view. There’s a lot to like, especially for those of us who enjoy a geographically wider jazz umbrella.
Track Listing: Anchor, Mirror, Vehicle, Escape
Personnel: Jonas Hellborg, bass; Shawn Lane, guitar; V. Umamahesh, vocals; V.
Selvaganesh, Kanjeera, Konokol; V. Umashankar, Ghatam, Konokol
There is a freedom and a sense of exhilaration in Jazz that is not found in any other music. Jazz is about finding freedom and a personal voice within a structure, and that is what
appeals to me most. I had a late start in jazz.
I was first exposed to jazz without any formal training by watching videos of Bill Evans, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk in my 20's.
Later, I met Ahmad Jamal, Kenny Werner, Chick Corea, Martial Solal, Bernard Maury, Fred Hersh, Barry Harris, among many other musicians over the years.
The first jazz record I
bought was Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, with You and it is still one of the solo piano masterpiece in my view.
My advice to new listeners... Just enjoy it!
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