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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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SACHAL STUDIOS ORCHESTRA

Jazz and All That

Sachal Music SM 028

 

 

1. You’ve Got It Bad Girl

2. If You Go Away

3. Moonlight in Vermont

4. Monsoon

5. The Pink Panther

6. Ponteio

7. Eleanor Rigby

8. Blue Rondo à la Turk

9. Kafi Jazz (Five Rivers)

10. Everybody Hurts

11. Wave

12. To the End of the World

13. Morning Has Broken

 

Sachal Studios Orchestra

Nafees Ahmad Khan - Sitar

Ballu Khan - Tabla

Rafiq Ahmed, Najaf Ali – Dholaks, percussion

Umar Draz, Ghulam Abbas, Waqas Ali - Cellos

Saleem Khan, Altaf Hydar, Javaid Ali, Akbar Noushad,

Kaleem Khan, Mukhtar Hussain, Mohammed Ilyas,

Kahwar Hussain, Akbar Abbas, Sakhawat Ali, Babar Baila, Nadeen Ahmad, Fazal Hussain, Aqeel Anwar, Chand, Ghulam Hussain, Ghulam Ali, Riasat Hussain, Mubarak Ali, Abid Ali, Akram Farooqi, Amjad Ali, Basharat Ali, Nijat Ali - Violins


UK Musicians

Derek Watkins – Trumpet, flugelhorn

Chris Wells - Percussion

Steve Lodder - Piano

Philip Achile – Bass, harmonica

Sally Price - Harp

Soumik Datta - Sarod

John Paracelli - Guitar

Bangalore Prakash - Ghatam

Kandiah Sithaparanathan - Moorsing (jewsharp)


Chorus

Abbie Osman, Alice Fearn, Claire Henry, Joanna Forbes, Mary Carewe, Rachel Weston, Sarah Ryan, Soophia Foroughi, Yona Dunsford.

Metro Voices - Choirmaster Jenny O’Grady

 

There were several reasons why Indian music became popular in the West from the 1960s onwards. The Beatles’ interest in Indian culture (and especially George Harrison’s use of the sitar) and the virtuosity of Ravi Shankar contributed to our awareness of Indian music. Meanwhile, John Mayer’s Indo-jazz experiments (with a line-up that included altoist Joe Harriott) showed how jazz could mix with elements from India. All this contributed to an appreciation of World Music, which has continued to expand exponentially and influence jazz as well as many other forms of music.

This album is an example of the symbiosis between Indian styles and jazz. Indian musicians are teamed with British jazz players to present new interpretations of jazz and popular songs. Several of the tracks are not jazzy, so they fall outside the remit of this website. The strings also tend to water down the jazz element, often making the music seem like the soundtrack for a Bollywood movie. For instance, Ponteio sounds like a Bollywood version of James Bond.

However, the jazz musicians (especially the late lamented trumpeter Derek Watkins) add to the amount of jazz and contribute several fine solos. Watkins’ impeccable trumpet sounds brilliant on Monsoon. Wave includes a good jazz solo from Philip Achile on harmonica, and the uncredited flautist conveys the melody very sweetly. It would also have been nice to know the identity of the sarangi player who contributes emotive music to some tracks. Solos by sitarist Nafees Ahmad Khan remind us of the improvisational connection between Indian music and jazz.

One of the pleasurable aspects of this album is hearing how Western tunes are adapted with an Indian flavour. This is particularly notable in The Pink Panther Theme (introduced and propelled 3by hustling tabla) and Moonlight in Vermont (which arranger Izzat Majeed wants to retitle Moonlight in Lahore!).

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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