111

Arun Ghosh: Primal Odyssey

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Arun Ghosh: Primal Odyssey Primal Odyssey, the second album from British/Asian clarinetist and composer Arun Ghosh, is yet more evidence that the Northwest of England is a creative center for some of the most stylish contemporary jazz. Admittedly, Ghosh is now based in London, but the towns of his formative years must take some of the credit for nurturing and encouraging his talents. As a writer and performer, Ghosh is developing a formidable reputation, which this album can only enhance.

The influence of Ghosh's upbringing—"conceived in Calcutta, bred in Bolton, matured in Manchester," as he puts it—comes over strongly on Primal Odyssey's ten tunes. There are melodies, harmonies and rhythms from Bengal, the Middle East, Europe and North America: "Indo Jazz" goes some way to describing the sound of this album, but not all the way. Ghosh's writing, playing and choice of band lineup draw on a wide and eclectic mix of influences, where the sounds of Ornette Coleman or Charles Mingus sit shoulder-to-shoulder with Shakespeare's The Tempest and the work of actor Pete Postlethwaite.

The frontline of Ghosh's clarinet, tenor saxophonist Zoe & Idris Rahman and bass clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings works beautifully, a soulful and often haunting sound that can be romantic ("Eros"), joyous ("Damascus"), or even funky ("Lal Qil'ah (The Red Fort").

Ghosh's sinuous and flowing clarinet lines are a central focus, but it's often what goes on down in the basement that gives the music its depth and atmosphere. Hutchings and bassist Liran Donin (from Led Bib) are crucial to the creation of the set's many and varied musical moods. Hutchings' gently flowing rhythm gives the gorgeous "Nocturne (Chandra Dhun)" added strength and dignity, while the combination of bass clarinet and double bass adds an air of mystery to "Caliban's Revenge." When Donin moves to bass guitar, his partnership with drummer Pat Illingworth brings out the rockier edge of Ghosh's compositions.

The rather gynecological imagery of the inner sleeve art serves to emphasize the primal beginnings of Ghosh's odyssey, but the angel-like baby clarinetist on the front cover is more truly representative of this music. Mysterious, spiritual, hopeful and joyous by turns, Primal Odyssey is a superb and life-affirming work.

Track Listing: Caliban's Revenge; Unravel; Yerma; Lal Qil'ah (The Red Fort); Headrush; Intifada; Eros; Damascus; Icarus; Nocturne (Chandra Dhun).

Personnel: Arun Ghosh: clarinet; Idris Rahman: saxophone (1-9), clarinet (10); Shabaka Hutchings: bass clarinet; Liran Donin: double-bass (1-3, 5-7, 10), electric bass (4, 8, 9); Pat Illingworth: drums.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Camoci Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Malamute" CD/LP/Track Review Malamute
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Jazz Marathon 2" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Marathon 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 20, 2017
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show" CD/LP/Track Review Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Montréal" CD/LP/Track Review Montréal
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 11, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!