EM rec. T.K.Ramamoorthy : "Jazz" (IND,1969,re.2011)****°
-'Fabulous Notes And Beats Of The Indian Carnatic'-
There are not really many Indian jazz albums. This is an Indo-Jazz album with a Carnatic raga starting point mixed with classic jazz. The composer, born in a musical family, has participated before in composing some South Indian film music scores, most noticeably the Tamil films 'Panam' and 'Moonrezhuthu”. The first track, “Gowla” sounds more jazz than Indian, with solos on trumpet with piano improvisation, while the rhythms on piano and drums follow both jazz and Carnatic raga mode. On “Ranjani” the rhythms are often more exotic, we hear also sax solos, rolling jazz drumming. “Begada” has Indian flute solos, lots of rhythm changes, jazz piano mixed with Carnatic rhythms. “Mohana” mixes Latin and Carnatic rhythms perfectly, with some clarinet solo and jazz piano rhythm. “Udaya Ravi Chandrika” has a beautiful Indian flute improvisation. “Natta” has duets with piano improvisation, Nathaswaram (Indian clarinet) solos, India & jazz drum solos, improvisations holding the middle between both styles. “Byag” sounds more Indian again with solos on different Indian violin instruments like gotuvadyam, thar shenai, bul bul tara, and percussive instruments like ghatam, chandai, sudha madhalam and drums. These are improvisations with jazz flavours,but more in an Indian way. “Sahana” features veena, mridangam and ghatam, piano jazz rhythms. The last two tracks have electric guitar too, again mixing the different worlds of possibilities still in an Indian way. It is an album that will ak several listens because there is a lot of musical vision behind it to be discovered. It is especially the rhythm piano and rolling drums which delivered the jazz associations, elsewhere combinations, crossovers were shown as possible.