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Archive for May 12th, 2008

New York – 9th May 2008: ‘Miles From India’

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on May 12, 2008

Music Review | ‘Miles From India’

Recalling Miles Davis by Crossing Cultures

During the second half of “Miles From India“, a boldly expansive concert at Town Hall on Friday night, the percussionist Badal Roy ventured a tabla solo, the sort of heroic exhibition that can end only in generous applause. He was annotating a composition called “Ife“, which he originally recorded with the trumpeter Miles Davis in 1972.

Miles from India (2 CD Set)

Mr. Roy was the linchpin but not always the focal point of “Miles From India“, which generally featured about a dozen other musicians onstage. The concert grew out of an ambitious new double album of the same name on Times Square Records, conceived as a cross-cultural experiment by the producer Bob Belden. On the album assorted Miles Davis alumni appear along with acclaimed Indian musicians – Mr. Roy hails from both camps of course – to play music spanning several periods of Davis’s chameleonic career.

It’s not such a stretch to seek affinities between Miles and India: as one of the chief proponents of modal improvisation in jazz, he occasionally reached in that direction himself. And a handful of his former sidemen, notably the guitarist John McLaughlin, went on to explore Indian music more deeply and directly.

Mr. McLaughlin contributed the title track and lone original on “Miles From India“, but he wasn’t on the bill Friday. Not that there was much occasion to miss him. The concert, organized by Mr. Belden and the Indian jazz pianist Louiz Banks, heeded the same ethos of crowded collaboration that guided Davis during his first fusion epoch, in the late 1960s and early to mid-’70s. There were organizing principles to the program (a set list, even) but the prevailing spirit was free form, seemingly open to chance.

On “Spanish Key“, which opened the second half, that method paid off handsomely. The trumpeter Wallace Roney, a leading disciple of the Davis sound and style, played with exacting purpose and unrepressed enthusiasm, carving up the song. And the melody, with its upward-tumbling arpeggio, suited the vocalist Shounak Abhisheki perfectly.

Miles Runs the Voodoo Down“, another track from the post-Woodstock album “Bitches Brew“, played to the strengths of both Mr. Roney and the guitarist Pete Cosey, who soloed in serpentine tandem. (It also provoked plaintive commentary from the violinist Kala Ramnath, who held her instrument in the Carnatic style, with its neck sloping to the floor.)

Just as potent was “It’s About That Time“, which felt right from the moment the bassist Benny Rietveld began the song’s signature vamp. At its peak the tune had Lenny White flailing at his drums as the alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa sparred with Adam Holzman, on Fender Rhodes piano. Whatever fusion this implied, it was effective.

The concert’s first half was less so, despite the stalwart contributions of the bassist Ron Carter and, on one song, the pianist Vijay Iyer. With a set drawn strictly from the album “Kind of Blue“, which uses modal concepts but predates “Bitches Brew” by a crucially important decade, the musicians had to work a lot harder at translation. It never quite came together, though their effort was worth hearing.

(Source: May 12, 2008 | The New York Times | Music Review – Nate Chinen)

CD: Miles from India (2008)


Posted in Live around the globe | 3 Comments »

Santoor & Tabla – SPRING 2008 EVENT @ SPICMACAY UCLA (Los Angeles, US)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on May 12, 2008

The University of California, Los Angeles Chapter of SPICMACAY (Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth) presents Santoor & Tabla.

SPICMACAY is a non-profit, voluntary, student movement aimed at educating the youth and community about the rich cultural heritage of India.

Tarun BhattacharyaSPICMACAY – UCLA is proud to present a Santoor concert and lecture demonstration by Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya with percussion support by Abhishek Basu on the Tabla.


Lecture Demonstration: Sunday 18th May 2008. 3.30-4.30 PM
Concert: Sunday 18th May 2008, 5.00 – 8.00 PM
Venue: 100 Moore, Hall, UCLA Campus
Directions: – Please refer to detailed instructions here.

Check out videos of Tarun Bhattacharya’s and Abhishek Basu’s performances.


Posted in Live around the globe | Leave a Comment »

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