Date printed: Fri 31st Oct 2014 9:09am PDT
Trilok Gurtu - Massical
Trilok Gurtu Unveils Material From New Album At London Show
Thursday, 16 April 2009 08:36
Next month Massical, the upcoming album from Trilok Gurtu comes out, and ahead of its release the Bombay-born percussionist performed at the Jazz Café in Camden last night at the Songlines magazine 10th anniversary show. It is a subtle change of direction for Gurtu, who is best known for his work with Oregon and John McLaughlin and for his masterly explorations of the tabla over many years. Recently he has been performing with a string quartet but with a new group last night, which included the pivotal figure of Carlo Cantini on electric violin, melodica and keys, the initial feel to what this was resembled intriguingly an Indo-Celtic amalgam that morphed into other styles as the evening went on. There were the atmospheric sounds of ‘The Glimpse’, for instance, which harks back to the 1990s, brief bursts of funk, complex Indo-jazz fusion and mesmerising solo routines.
The new tunes include the 7/4 ‘Seven Notes to Heaven’ and the shimmering ‘Bridges’. Gurtu’s approach is more complex than the sum of its parts and he took the trouble to demystify it for the audience. “You like cricket,” he told us, “then think you’re in the slips”. Sure enough, the beats batted off the tabla as if it were a well seasoned, nicely weighted Duncan Fearnley blade. At times, admittedly, there was the odd lunge as Gurtu grimaced at the dud PA tabla sound despite the fact that he had spent an hour and a half at the sound check getting the sound right. Aside from his regular drum kit and, of course, the tablas, Gurtu also used a bucket of water to effect, once his bells had been dipped in it, producing, the sensation of rain. The jam at the end came together well, even encouraging a woman in the audience to dance on the stage. But Trilok and the band scarcely noticed the intrusion – they were too intent on listening and improvising. Gurtu has his roots in Bollywood but his musical approach is a world away; its global beat, and this international band, is meant to tear down boundaries. In this he more than succeeds without blanding out all the elements of the mix.
Trilok Gurtu describes the tracks...
1) Seven Notes To Heaven: We have seven notes at our disposal, the choice is ours, we can reach god with it. Realize that we sleep with these notes and wake up with them.
2) Bridges: I believe in making bridges not barriers. Music is ONE
3) Mumbai Shuffle: This rhythm and groove is the same in Africa where they like to enjoy music and dance is a major factor, they are only different geographically.
4) Havatight means air tight. In India when something is difficult to play they call it Havatight, but the beauty is making difficult things sound simple.
5) Dive In: Sarangi is a very old instrument from India and has a Quality of depth and potential. It is very vocal in its approach and appropriate to dive inside your own self.
6) Monk-e-desh: Similarity of Monk music with India which I love and respect
7) Kuruk Setra was a battle field where Lord Krishna advised realization about one's Self to Arjun, his disciple. The battle field is inside all of us, there has to be someone to show the way.
8) Pathri is a holy place for me and a temple of my spiritual master and great saint Siddharameshwar Maharaj. This piece is a gospel, thanking him.
9) Etnosur: A typical Bombay groove which I was brought up with, played during religious Festivals on the streets. We find the same feel in North Africa
10) Massical: Making all kinds of music without categories to reach people (the MASS) who love music in daily life to get rid of names and drawers. Let music be as it is in its original form; it is a GREAT MEDIUM to create and make the human race closer to each other making the world a better place to live in.
After hearing samples from the album which includes the vocals of...
...the striking Kalpana, i'm hoping that the local music establishment has this in stock.
"Ya see, we're not interested in what you know...but what you are willing to learn. C'mon y'all."
I have three of Trilok's previous albums, looks like I'll be grabbing this, too!
Thanks for the Headzup!!!
" I've got six things on my mind --you're no longer one of them." - Paddy McAloon, Prefab Sprout
Date printed: Fri 31st Oct 2014 9:09am PDT