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...

11

Karavika: Of Earth And Sky

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Can't find a musical genre that fits the needs of your means of artistic expression? Then create your own. That's what Karavika did, with their gorgeous and provocative debut, Sunrise ( Self Produced, 2012). Call it raga/chamber/folk music if you will, a blend of multiple influences from multiple cultures, with a South Asian foundation in Sri Lanka and India.

Violinist Trina Basu and cellist Amali Premawardhana co-lead Karavika, a trio that includes bassist Perry Wortman. With their sophomore effort, Of Earth And Sky, the guest slots bolster the enchanting South Asian atmosphere with tablas (Avait Shah, Sameer Gupta) and Mrudangam (Rajna Swaminathan).

The disc opens with a nod to another genre-creator, with a distinctive version of poet Rabindra Tagore's "Your Passing Touch," an ode to romantic love. A mandolin intro sets an initial "Sketches Of Spain" mood that leads into the lilting strings and tabla that creates geography-less form of folk music. American roots are celebrated with "All The Pretty Little Horses," an African-American lullaby, sung perhaps by slaves to the children of the masters. The group gives the tune a "raga" influence, and a melancholy mood, suggestive of the plight of the enslaved caring for the children of their owners while suffering separation from their own offspring.

"Raga Behag" seems to exist outside of temporal world, floating on eternal mists. "The Time Is Now," is a song of eternal yearning love.

Roopa Mahadevan adds the traditional Carnatic vocals to "Raga Kalyani" and "Thillana Jaya Ragamalika." The latter is a celebration of the mysteries of Eastern spirituality, a beautiful juxtaposition of the long elastic lines of the violin and cello against the glory of the human voice, punctuated by the immediacy of the Indian percussion. "The Young Leaves Of The Bodi Tree," is a particularly poignant tune about Budha's Mother crying as she considers the past lives of her son, with haunting, choir-like background vocals by Basu and Premawardhana, leading into the African-American Spiritual, "Oh, Watch The Stars," featuring crystalline vocal harmonies, and a sound that—with the addition of the Jay Ganhdi's bansuri (a South-Asian flute) to the mix—has a Scot/Irish feel, making a Chieftains/Karavika collaboration sound like an inspired idea.

When you're making category-resistant music, the chances on hooking up with a record company are limited, even—as with Sunrise and Of Earth And Sky—magic is happening. The upside—you can follow your muses without interference, and craft something different and personal and lovely beyond words, as Karavika does.

Track Listing: Your Passing Touch; All the Pretty Little Horses; Raga Behag; The Time is Now; Raga Kaliyani; Thillana Jaya Ragamalika; Young Leaves Of The Bodi Tree; Oh, Watch The Stars.

Personnel: Trina Basu: violin, vocals, guitar; Amali Premawardhana, cello vocals; Perry Wortman: bass, mandolin; with: Arun Ramamurthy: violin (5, 6, 8); Roopa Mahadevan: Carnatic vocals (5, 6); Jay Gandhi: bansuri: (8); Advait Shah: tabla: (1,7); Sameer Gupta: tabla, percussion (2, 8); Rajna Swaminathan: mrudangam ((4, 6).

Title: Of Earth And Sky | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Of Earth And Sky

Of Earth And Sky

Self Produced
2016

buy
Sunrise

Sunrise

Self Produced
2012

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019