429

Sunny Jain: Taboo

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
The sentences "Some things shouldn't be discussed in public" or "Don't ask, don't tell," are archaic phrases that still persist when speaking about forbidden subjects. South Asian drummer/composer Sunny Jain addresses some of these forbidden topics in Taboo, a scintillating project where he artfully uses his music as a platform to address social issues such as "sexual orientation, inequality and violence upon women, and the juxtaposition of religions." While such topics may continue to be controversial, this release is equally thought provoking, riveting, and engaging.

Jains' compositions draw upon a rich canvass of idioms, with resplendent contributions from vocalists, musicians, and YaliniDream, a Sri Lankan Tamil performance artist whose provides tantalizing spoken word on "Jack and Jill," the opening track that touches on the choice between sexual preferences.

This careful blend of modern jazz, rock, and ragas (melodic modes used in Indian classical music) is indeed intricate. Disparate changes are interlaced—acid trip-rock (provided by guitarist Nir Felder) multiple time signatures (by Jain and bassist Gary Wang), and soulful pianistic flights (by Marc Cary). "Two Ladies" is the most straight-ahead track, as the band moves into a saucy blues rhythm.

Complex melodies and harmony are heard in music inspired by ghazals (love poems based on an ancient poetic form) but built on the writings of modern day poets. The exotic lyrics are sung in English, North Indian solfege, and a great Sargam run at the end of "Basa Bhagwaan," where vocalists Sheetal Karhade and Achyut Joshi engage in a more complex version of jazz scatting.

The artists bring their all to the release, and Felder delivers some of his most memorable work to date; in particular his inventive solo in the fabulous "Ye Mera Khuda," a tune with a positive message about religious differences. There's irony in Jain's Taboo, a creative, and inspiring release that would suggest understanding instead of ignorance.

Track Listing: Jack And Jill; Ye Mera Khuda; Two Ladies; Basa Bhagwaan; A Sufi; We Sinful Women; Samaro Mantra.

Personnel: Sunny Jain: drums, dhol (4); Marc Cary: piano; Nir Felder: guitar; Gary Wang: acoustic bass; Achyut Joshi: vocals (1, 4); Sheetal Karhade: vocals (2, 4); Samita Sinha: vocals (6); Shayna Steele: vocals (3); Sachal Vasandani: vocals (5); YaliniDream: spoken word (1).

Title: Taboo | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read No Matter Where Noir CD/LP/Track Review No Matter Where Noir
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Out Of Silence CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Plodi CD/LP/Track Review Plodi
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Secret Language CD/LP/Track Review Secret Language
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 17, 2017
Read Shamat CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Rebirth" CD/LP/Track Review Rebirth
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Into A Myth" CD/LP/Track Review Into A Myth
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by John Sharpe
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Runnin' for the Ghost" CD/LP/Track Review Runnin' for the Ghost
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor