Essential Listening: Surinder Sandhu – Saurang Orchestra, and more.

World Fusion

World music has been poplar ever since the Beatles discovered Ravi Shanker back in the late sixties. Over the years a number artists have tried to infuse music of different cultures; people like John Coltrane, Carlos Santana and Peter Gabriel. Out of this has come a term called World or Global Fusion with a variety of results.

 The power of the internet and the mixtures of cultures have helped made this easier to happen; there will always be musicians willing to take chances and try to create something fresh and exciting. World music provides a framework for this to occur. It is with this experience of adventure I share some of my favourite albums within this genre.

Surinder Sandhu - Saurang Orchestra

This CD is a whole exotic experience; imagine Indian music mixed with some jazz and great guitar playing; now imagine a almost film score background. I remember playing this at a audition for some equipment and having several people asking me what is this and where can I get it. Surinder is a fine musician able to integrate Indian music into a number of settings in a natural way (not a easy task).

L Subramaniam Global Fusion

As I mention before sometimes finding great albums have a certain element of chance In many ways this was the album that opened up a whole new experience of music for me (in my books always a good thing). Subramaniam is a fine Indian violinist from the Carntic school of music. He has been a session player and has recorded with some of the finest musicians in the world. He has great improvisational skills the ability to play in odd time meters and able to play with sensitivity to other players from different traditions. The music is at times haunting and passionate.

Peter Gabriel-Passion

This CD comes from the film the Last Temptation of Christ; a powerful film that perhaps lasts too long. The music is equally powerful; a number of famous musicians took part in creating this some of them like Nusrat Fattah Ali Khan finding a whole new musical audience. Close your eyes and the music will take you straight into the heart of the deserts of Africa. A defining album worth hunting down on SACD or vinyl.

Groan Bregovic-Edelezi

Most of Goran’s music has been composed for films; this CD captures his music over a ten year span. The music combines elements of gypsy music, tango, pop and Bulgarian polyphony to create unique music with a Balkans feel. Sometimes you hear music with that big sense of those crazy Balkans brass bands, other times the music is very lyrical feel.

Strunz and Farah- Live

Strunz and Farah combine Flamenco music with a touch of Jazz; basically think Al Di Meola and Paco De Lucia Mediterranean Sundance with a more exotic feel. The understanding these players have for each other is breathtaking; music with passion and energy!

John Cahill