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Melodic Intersect: Looking Forward

Geannine Reid By

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Melodic Intersect has released their 6th studio album, Looking Forward. The ensemble congregates musicians from different backgrounds to create a sound that is unique, with a strong world flavor. Lead by Enayet Hossain, a tabla player that has had years of experience in the realm of Indian classical music and started the Melodic Intersect group to be able to create music that is unique and highly improvisational. The other players in the ensemble are: Hidayat Khan who plays the sitar and is the son of the legendary sitar player Vilayat Khan, Greg Hatza, a well-known jazz organist and pianist, Joy Islam, a native of Bangladesh, provides guitar, Fred Koch plays saxophone, Avirodh Sharma, originally from Trinidad provides a blend of world percussion and Qamar Abbas from Pakistan, plays the cajon.

Melodic Intersect has a sound that both world music lovers and jazz aficionados will find exciting and easy to relate to. "Jazzy Streets of Mumbai" begins the series of eight tracks with a relaxed melody stated in rubato. Around the one-minute mark the entire band enters and the groove is established, similar to a condensed raga in form. Islam takes the first solo; his lines are relaxed and interact well with the surrounding rhythms and fills. Khan's solo builds the intensity, with quick lines and flurries, he leads the ensemble into a climax that is both musically satisfying and leads to the ending statement. "The Chase" is Melodic Intersect at its best. Sensual instrumentation, infectious rhythms, and robust melodies. Everything about Melodic Intersect is an unexpected musical treat, it seems to be why their music appeals to such a wide-ranging audience. Simply, it feels good. Both Khan and Islam are constantly conversing between one another. Hossain's tabla playing is amazing, both filling the spaces and providing support, he drives the energy as the ensemble takes us on a musical journey of pure delight.

Fiery, passionate and strong, Melodic Intersect ends the set with an all percussion based track "Rhythmicpaths." Sharma, Abbas and Hossain offer varied and complex rhythms that Indian music is celebrated for. Hossain's tabla playing is front and center. He easily builds his solo, interweaving rhythmic melodies and themes amongst passionate eruptions of technical feats across his two tablas. It's an amazing amount of sound, range and colors he gets from the skins.

Melodic Intersects' Looking Forward is a presentation of different musical influences with a strong basis in Indian classical music. With conversational improvisational elements, the music is cultrualy diverse and passionate. The beauty of the interaction between the musicians and the rhythmic diversity, combined with brilliantly inventive and virtuosic solos is the integral ingredients to the success of this album.

Track Listing: Jazzy Streets of Mumbai; he Chase; Without Borders; Memory Lane; Starry Gaze; Adolescence; Keys of Resolve; Rhythmicpaths.

Personnel: Enayet Hossain: table; Hidayat Khan: sitar; Joy Islam: guitar; Greg Hatza: keyboard; Fred Koch: sax; Qamar Abass: cajon; Avirodh Sharma: world percussion.

Title: Looking Forward | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Aimrec

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