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Mango Festival

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Album Review

Impressed with the music he heard at a real live mango festival in New Delhi several years previously, Sunny Jain — a jazz drummer of Indian descent who grew up in Rochester, NY, on a diet of Indian religious songs — had the unique idea to join forces with three musician buddies from other cultures and create this sometimes straight-ahead, sometimes avant-garde, and always exotic hybrid project. Jain's original title track begins with an insistent percussion groove and the sensuous tenor of Steve Welsh over the swirl of guitarist Rez Abbasi (of Pakistani descent). The tune grooves on into a hypnotic, seductive realm, pauses for reflective breath, then becomes more improvisational and swinging. It's delightfully all over the map. "As Is" finds Welsh's dreamy sax motif underlying his own languid melody as a restless beat jumps beneath. Other Jain originals, like "Horizontal Pathway," are more melodic, typically well-played quartet pieces that allow for improvisation but don't get too out there, despite some odd meter changes. Abbasi's closing number, "Blu Vindaloo," is reminiscent of Pat Metheny's use of atmosphere and space, as the guitarist leads with a somewhat muted string line and Welsh punches away beneath him. The one cover tune is an oddball ambient fusion trip on Wayne Shorter's "Masqualero," which shows off Abbasi's sharp sitar guitar capabilities.

Mango Festival, Sunny Jain Collective
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  • 8,91 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 02 March 2004

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