Perceptive Travel, Album Review >>
We say: Indian classical music with a jazzy American touch.
Sheela Bringi is an Indian-American singer and multi-instrumentalist whose musical upbringing is probably as much influenced by jazz and blues as it is by classical Indian music. The music here is clearly of Indian origin but, as might be said of a wine, it comes "with Western notes." Such outside influences help make this musical tradition's exoticism more accessible to Western ears but while the result may be relatively easy to listen too, it is still, thankfully, a far cry from "Easy Listening."
The first couple of tracks on Incantations don't pack too many surprises — sultry female vocals and spacey instrumentalism — but by track three, "The Three-eyed One," where tenor saxophone and multi-tracked male voices combine to enhance the mood, things start to get rather more unpredictable and, it has to be said, exciting. As well as possessing a fine voice, Bringi's harp playing is a pleasure to listen to, as is her wistful bansuri (Indian bamboo flute) on "Raga Khammaj." There are other noteworthy contributors too. "Peacock" features excellent trumpet-playing by Clinton Patterson, who produced the album and shares songwriting credits throughout. Patterson also makes a valuable contribution with the horn arrangement of the following track, "Buffalo-Demon Slayer," which has an incongruous but effective Balkan-flavored chorus in an odd meter.
02/13/14 >> go there