Τετάρτη, 27 Φεβρουαρίου 2013

John Mayer's Indo-Jazz fusions - Ragatal [1998]


 The 'Indo-Jazz Fusions'  were first released in 1967 and 1968. After Joe Harriott died in 1973, John Mayer did not want to carry on with the band. Following a short-lived version with Steve Williamson earlier in the decade, Mayer formed the new Indo-jazz Fusions in 1995. 'Ragatal', their second release, was recorded in October 1997.
 Significantly, the group is no longer called 'a double quintet' (i.e one jazz, one Indian), it is an integrated ensemble; the Indian and jazz elements are now more fully and successfully blended than in the Harriott group. There are other elements of World Music too; 'Miyan ki Malhar' has distinctly South African rhythms. Despite the inclusion of instrumentation associated with jazz (sax, trumpet, double bass) the music is almost all scored, even the solos, John Mayer does not believe in too much improvisation - after all, he is Professor of Composition and Composer in Residence at Birmingham Conservatoire!
However, some solos do sound very spontaineous and in the jazz tradition. Anna Brooks tenor solo in 'Partita' would not be out of place on a Stan Getz record. Even though there is genuine fusion in this music, to my ears the dominant sound is still that of India. Maybe Indian ears would say the jazz influence dominates. Anyway, Duke Ellington said, 'There are two types of music - good and bad.' This is good. 

                                              
                                                       
                                                               Enjoy!

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