SARATHY KORWAR — Sarathy Korwar & The UPAJ Collective : My East Is Your West

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SARATHY KORWAR - Sarathy Korwar & The UPAJ Collective : My East Is Your West cover
4.50 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Live album · 2018

Tracklist

A A Street in Bombay
B1 The Creator Has A Master Plan
B2 Mind Ecology
C1 Malkauns (Part I)
C2 Malkauns (Part II)
D1 Journey In Satchidananda
D2 Hajj
E Earth
F1 Mishrank
F2 Utopia and Visions

digital download track list:
1 A Street in Bombay 16:37
2 The Creator Has a Master Plan 9:30
3 Mind Ecology 8:24
4 Malkauns (Part 1) 7:47
5 Malkauns (Part 2) 13:35
6 Journey in Satchidananda 10:24
7 Hajj 12:16
8 Earth 14:40
9 Mishrank 10:20
10 Utopia and Visions 7:16

Total length: 110:49

Line-up/Musicians

Sarathy Korwar: tabla, drum kit;
Domenico Angarano: double bass, electric bass;
Aravindhan Baheerathan: bansuri;
Giuliano Modarelli: acoustic guitar;
Al MacSween: keys:
Tamar Osborn: baritone sax, flute;
Jasdeep Singh Degun: sitar;
John Ball: santoor, tabla;
Jesse Bannister: alto sax;
Aditya Prakash: vocals;
B C Manjunath: mridangam, kanjira

About this release

Gearbox Records ‎– GB1549 (UK)

Recorded live at London's Church Of Sound

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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SARATHY KORWAR SARATHY KORWAR & THE UPAJ COLLECTIVE : MY EAST IS YOUR WEST reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
US-born, India-grown and London-based percussionist and tabla player Sarathy Korwar debuted as leader two years ago with studio album "Day To Day" recorded in India (participating was one of the new British jazz scene's leaders - tenor Shabaka Hutchings) and released on hip Ninja Tune label. The album contained an eclectic mix of Indian music, dialogues, electronics and London sound and was a partially successful debut, hardly more.

"My East Is Your West", Korwar's second release,is a strong improvement. Massive triple-vinyl live set is all-organic and contains all-new material. Band's line-up is slightly modified with British female tenor Tamar Osborn replacing Shabaka Hutchings, additional alto sax player Jesse Bannister and improved Indian instruments section (incl. Santoor/Tabla player John Ball, Mridangam / Kanjira player B.C. Manjunath and Bansuri player Aravindhan Baheerathan).

As a result, the new band (named Upaj Collective) sounds much more "Indian" and recalls Shakti's Indian fusion sound. This is not strange, third album contains a John McLaughlin composition, "Mind Ecology". And that's only for starters - album's songs are covers of renown spiritual jazz, fusion or World fusion songs, just seriously reworked and presented as Indian music scented longish pieces.

Pharoah Sanders' "The Creator Has A Master Plan" lasts almost ten minutes and besides of main theme's intro and some snippets sounds quite different from original. Cover of Alice Coltrane "Journey In Satchidananda" is closer to how it sounded decades ago, as well as Ravi Shankar's "Mishrank". One can find Abdullah Ibrahim's "Hajj", Don Cherry's "Utopia And Visions", and Joe Henderson's "Earth" on a list among others.

With no doubt a significant component of successful result is not only strong material, but HOW the band plays it. Multicultural collective of authentically trained Indian instruments players and Europeans find a unique balance between two cultural traditions. The music is obviously Indian-influenced with characteristic arrangements, techniques and sound, but at the same time it never slips toward esoteric meditative repetitive noodling which undermined some of Shakti's later releases. Instead, the Europeans add more framed structures, rhythmic order (almost groovy in moments), and in general more accessible, slightly "westernized" sound.

A bit conventional for today's fashion, acoustic-only sound makes this album probably a bit less hip but at the same time builds a bridge with spiritual jazz and Indo-fusion of the 60s and 70s producing a music which has bigger value than just a hit of the day. One among stronger world fusion albums of the last couple decades.

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