This is a lively and fun CD. Sort of jazz cross over fusion. After repeated listening a couple of tracks seem a bit MOR boring but the other tracks make up for this. I heard tracks of this first on Radio 3 and Arun Ghosh being interviewed and I had to seek it out and buy it afterwards. It is an interesting addition for anyone who is into fusion/jazz/world music.
Led by Idris Rahman and with MOBO award-winning sister Zoe on piano, the album is a suite in every sense. He searches through his 20 year career and delves into his influences and formative days and distills it all into an album of great charm and variety. It is a pleasant surprise and a great contrast with his wild upbeat albums of yore and his work with his band Soothsayers. Easy to listen to but not easy listening!!!!
I just heard this guy today on a Radio 3 jazz programme - they played I think 4 tracks from this album although as yet I only caught 2 of them - the river one, which is plain beautiful, although plain is the wrong word as it has intricacies making it exquisite and gorgeous.
The other track I heard I found exhilarating. It was in 13 1/2 over 4 time! Wow!
Being a clarinettist myself I could appreciate the techniques this guy is using and he talked about how he feels so at one with the instrument and can express himself through it. I know what he means.
He can 'bend' the notes (which I can't) and do other awesome things so it sounds like how Indian woodwinds are played (but still recognisably clarinet)
Along with the piano (he said he composes on piano so it is natural to use it in the actual music), and with other instruments too, the sound is reminiscent of what you hear in an Indian restaurant, only more Western and jazzy at the same time, so I imagine would 'gel' to Western ears better perhaps than solely Asian music.
I have the radio 3 page up ready to play the programme again and catch what I missed, and I've put the album on my wishlist as it's so different from anything I already have in my fairly extensive collection and I know I would listen to it a lot, like I do my Spyro Gyra album Heart of the Night.
I am tempted to give in and spend a fiver right now for the mp3 album. But it comes free if you buy the CD one, which I can't afford yet, but I always like to have the actual CD especially the sleeve artwork and info. So I will have to be restrained, and wait, and be happy for now that at least I heard some of it, and can look forward to owning it sometime.....
But if you are a 'money no object' person and you like quality music that is wholly original, then I recommend you buy this ASAP so you can enjoy it as often as you like. Lucky you!