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What's an artist to do if he can't find an established instrument to suit his musical needs. If you are bassist Justin Gray, you design and co-create one. It's called the Bass Veena, a a hybrid that combines the characteristics of the fretless bass and numerous Indian string instruments.
New Horizons by Justin Gray and Synthesis introduces the Bass Veena, traveling a Raga route with an ensemble that includes an array of Western stringsviolins and cellos, guitar, electric guitarsjoined by percolating Indian and Persian percussion: Tibetan singing bowls, piano and organ, crafting a modern/ancient, East/West groove atmosphere.
There's no mistaking the Indian influences to the sound. Less obvious perhaps is the percussive rhythms of R&B and rock. The brew boasts rich sonic textures and sinewy threadings, segments of trance-inducing beauty interspersed with hard-driving momentums, and understated, serve-the-music virtuosity all around.
All the disc' compositions come from the pen of Justin Gray. They are steeped in the traditions of Indian classical music tinted with American jazz. Even with a rotating cast of instrumentalists, the sound maintains a compelling start to finish cohesion. New Horizons sounds timeless, a multiple strings, multiple percussions-fest full the mysteries of wisdom of the centuries.
Track Listing: New Horizons; Reflections; Migration; Eventide; Unity; Break of Dawn; Rise;
Serenity; Ebb and Flowq
Personnel: Justin Gray: Bass Veena & Electric Bass;
Ed Hanley: Tabla;
Derek Gray: Drums, Percussion & Singing Bowls;
Ted Quinlan: Electric Guitar & Acoustic Guitar; Drew Jurecka: Violin & Baritone Violin;
Rebekah Wolkstein: Violin;
Shannon Knights: Viola;
Lydia Munchinsky: Cello; Naghmeh Farahmand: Tombak, Daf & Udu; Todd Pentney:
Piano & Hammond Organ; Dhruba Ghosh: Sarangi;
Trichy Sankaran: Mrdangam;
Steve Gorn: Bansuri;
Alam Khan: Sarode;
Joy Anandasivam: Guitar;
Gurpreet Chana: Hang Drum;
Demetrios Petsalakis: Oud;
Joel Schwartz: Resonator & Electric Guitar; Jonathan Kay: Esraj;
I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats Big Noise From Winnetka, which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab
I love jazz because of Elmer Bernstein's score for the 1957 American film noir Sweet Smell of Success, which I first saw as a teenager in the '70s. As a playwright/screenwriter, I write to music and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my work; the most recent example being Bob Crosby and the Bobcats Big Noise From Winnetka, which became the signature theme for my last stage play The Gift of the Gab. My late great pa-in-law--the actor Keith Michell--wins the contest hands down however, as he co-starred in the 1962 movie All Night Long rubbing shoulders with Dave Brubeck, Keith Christie, Bert Courtley, John Dankworth, Ray Dempsey, Allan Ganley, Tubby Hayes, Charles Mingus, Barry Morgan, Kenny Napper, Colin Purbrook and John Scott! Wish I could have been a fly on the wall of that soundstage!
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