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Sample Track 1:
"Queen of Sheba" from Trian to Basra and Other Stories
Sample Track 2:
"Kashaniya" from Train to Basra and Other Stories
Layer 2
Album Review

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Jazz Weekly, Album Review >>

THIRD WORLD JAZZ…Kheswa & Her Martians: Meadowlands, Stolen Jazz, Salaam: Train to Basra, Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon: Soul March One of the delightful things about jazz is how well it absorbs sounds from other countries and continents. Here, we’ve got meldings from Africa, the Mid East and India. What a way to go! South African vocalist Nonhlanhla Kheswa has a sweet and piney voice. Here, in concert with an exciting band of Taber Gable/p, Andrew Renfroe/g, Josh Evans/tp, Jovan Alexandre/ts-ss, Karim Rome/ts, Matt Dwonszyk/b and Jonathan Barber/dr she performs in NYC mixing a churchified feel on “Qula Kwedini” with soulful struts on “Ntyilo Ntyilo.” The band has a thick sorghum of a sound, as on the “Stolen Moments” hints on “Tshona” and the exciting “Kofifi Medley.” Energy abounds here, and Kheswa gets the temperature rising with Gable and his trio throughout the sweaty evening. Dena El Saffar plays viola and oud while leading a fantastically ecumenical band that varies in size but usually includes Tim Moore/perc, Lety ElNaggar-Joe Donnell/sax, Stephen Harms/b, Sam Finley/g and other guests that play santoors, accordions and a myriad of Middle Eastern percussion things that go bump in the night. The music can go from traditional folk as in “Train to Basra” to include jazz hints as on “Queen of Sheba.” Even better is the infectious grooves of “Kashaniya,” the funk of “Joza Tears” and even the Tex Mex fun and playful “The Mariachi Stole My Heart.” The mixing of sounds, worlds and attitudes brings out the best of all cultures, and if they ever come to LA, I hope they include food!!! OK, I’m going to write the names of the two artists ONE TIME: Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon is the singer, and Tejendra Narayan Majumdar did the arranging of the 50 artists and 16 vocalists for this album. Every instrument you can just about imagine is on this collection of nine songs. Most of the songs consist of Indian vocal chants with western and Indian combinations of ideas. “Charukesi” has synthesized percussion, “Behag” combines choir with tablas and sitars and some thick dance percussion along with piano and tenor sax dominate “Jog.” Like an intersecation in Dehli, a bit too congested for my tastes.

 01/09/14 >> go there
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