Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

230

Shez Raja: Mystic Radikal

George Mitton By

Sign in to view read count
Shez Raja has described his band's sound as "a real kaleidoscope," an idea reflected in Mystic Radikal's psychedelic cover art. Raja studied Indian classical tabla drumming with virtuoso Sharda Sahai, but now applies these rhythms to the electric bass. On the album there's a fusion of eastern sounds, with synthesizer drones used to reference the music of the Indian subcontinent. But there's also a riotous African influence on songs such as "Carnival of Colour," where violinist Pascal Roggen duels exuberantly with saxophonist Andy Sheppard.

Sheppard's appearance on three tracks is a particular treat. His assurance lends a note of maturity and precision whenever he appears, lifting the funky ballad "Infatuation" with a final solo, and sustaining the downbeat "Angel's Tears" with relaxed but incisive playing. A second special guest is trumpeter Claude Deppa, who enlivens three numbers including the album's title track and the African-influenced "Mandala Girl," complete with steel pan percussion from Mark Cherrie.

Throughout the album, Raja's electric bass underlines and informs the band's sound. At times inviting comparisons with Marcus Miller, he's fond of playing solo lines high up on the instrument and using effects for an enhanced, funky timbre. Raja has played in rock bands and accompanied hip hop artists, in addition to jazz work with Elephant Talk and Loka. He formed his collective—this is its third album—because he wanted to unite his diverse interests, which stretch to African, Latin and Eastern rhythms.

Mystic Radikal is an exciting mixture that's all the more enjoyable because the constituent elements never seem forced or unnatural in combination. It's a melting pot, but without the political connotations of cultural friction. This is fusion music at its most straightforward and entertaining.

Track Listing: Mystic Radikal; Chakras On the Wall; Karmic Flow; Infatuation; We Are One; Soho; Angel's Tears; Music For Elves; Carnival of Colours; Quiverwish; Mandala Girl; Beauty of the Beast.

Personnel: Shez Raja: bass guitar; Andy Sheppard: tenor and soprano saxophone (4, 7, 9); Claude Deppa: trumpet (1, 6, 11); Aaron Liddard: tenor saxophone, flute; Pascal Roggen: electric violin; Alex Stanford: keyboards; Chris Nickolls: drums; Monika Lidke: vocals; Mark Cherrie: steel pan, percussion.

Title: Mystic Radikal | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: 33 Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Heptagon" CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Wrong Turns And Dead Ends" CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Sermon Organ Combo" CD/LP/Track Review Sermon Organ Combo
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24" CD/LP/Track Review The Treasury Shows, Vol. 24
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes" CD/LP/Track Review ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 6, 2018