All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

269

George Brooks Summit: Spirit and Spice

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
The concept of fusing Indian classical music and jazz is not new. Saxophonist George Brooks, a longtime votary of the form, has honed his skills through several conglomerations: Bombay Jazz, with guitarist Larry Coryell and flautist Ronu Majumdar; the Kirwani Quartet, with Dutch harpist Gwyneth Wentink and Indian flute maestro Hari Prasad Chaurasia; and Summit, with guitarist Fareed Haque, bassist Kai Eckhardt and drummer Steve Smith. His compositions reflect the soul and character of Indian classical music, but open themselves to improvisation.

Here, Summit plays on two tracks. The meditative soul of "Silent Prayer—Madhuvanti" is evoked by Brooks, who lingers in the melody, letting it soak in before breaking into quick phrases that signal a deeper import into Indian classical music. He never loses the thread of communication and, with Haque gently complementing him, the tune makes a profound impact. "Sri Rollins" (Sri is the Hindi word for Mr.), in honor of Sonny Rollins, is a sprightly calypso. A change from the grain of the other compositions, it is quite irresistible.

Brooks has a stellar cast of Indian musicians on the disc's remaining six tracks, which was recorded in Mumbai. They help realize the music channeling their vision in tandem with the original band.

Violinist Kala Ramnath works in close cleave with Brooks on "Spice." Their voices speak eloquently, Ramnath infusing her phrases with deep fluidity, while Brooks takes the saxophone deep into the groove, drawing intensely from the melody's essence. The beat gradually enlivens as Ramnath stokes the fires, with Haque cueing in on the refrain, bending the notes and inserting juicy consonants. The pulse descends into an ocean of calm as Martin and sitarist Niladri Kumar come in.

"Monsoon Blues" has Brooks leading the charge on this hard-driving tune. It has a funky edge and jumps into flinty bop, with Brooks showing off his considerable jazz inventions. Haque illumines with his dynamics and harmony, his passion incessantly palpable. The rhythm section makes the beat dance, with Smith swooping in with konnakol (vocal percussion), and the contribution of Indian percussionist Sridhar Parthasarathy, who adds to the spontaneity, cannot go remiss.

Spontaneous spirit and a load of melodic spice make this a divine treat.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
After Carnival

After Carnival

CDM Records
2012

buy
Live at Vision Festival

Live at Vision...

Re: Konstrukt
2012

buy
So Oder So

So Oder So

Self Produced
2012

buy
To My Surprise

To My Surprise

Consolidated Artists Productions
2012

buy
Leap In The Dark

Leap In The Dark

Intuition
2012

buy
Into The Open

Into The Open

Your Favourite Jazz
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Jazzamenco CD/LP/Track Review
Jazzamenco
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 13, 2018
Read You Have Options CD/LP/Track Review
You Have Options
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Heroes, Saints and Clowns CD/LP/Track Review
Heroes, Saints and Clowns
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Bowie, Berlin & Beyond CD/LP/Track Review
Bowie, Berlin & Beyond
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2018
Read For You CD/LP/Track Review
For You
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 12, 2018
Read "Displaced Diaspora" CD/LP/Track Review Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read "No Matter Where Noir" CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "All Melody" CD/LP/Track Review All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "The Hands" CD/LP/Track Review The Hands
by John Eyles
Published: February 12, 2018
Read "The Seasons of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons of Being
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 16, 2018