Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trilok Gurtu - Kathak

As a producer and sideman, Bombay-born percussionist and singer Trilok Gurtu has become something of a godfather to London's emerging Asian Underground movement (his relationship with Asian Dub Foundation having earned him particularly strong street credibility in recent years), but he's also been quietly releasing solo albums for the last decade. The latest finds him teamed up with bassist Kai Eckhardt de Camargo (good luck sorting out the ethnicity of that name), guitarist Jaya Deva, sitar player Ravi Chary, and several high-profile guests (including Neneh Cherry, who sings a touching tribute to Ravi's and her late stepfather) for a program of cross-cultural jamming. Worldbeat fusion is always a dicey prospect, and while this album has many attractive moments, it never really comes into focus. "Seven Brings Return" meanders, at first hypnotically, then stultifyingly, for over eight minutes, and the wanky Steve Lukather guitar solo in the middle doesn't help. However, there's an equally meandering, but much more melodically interesting, bass solo on "You, Remember This" that works very well. "Brasilian" is a mostly unsuccessful attempt at a fusion of Indian and Brazilian influences, and "Who Knows the Mind" is downright weird-a love songs that segues into a sort of progressive rock crossed with bhangra, again for over eight minutes. All of this stuff is pleasant enough, but little of it is very compelling. - by Rick Anderson, AMG

Artist: Trilok Gurtu
Album: Kathak
Year: 1998
Label: EFA/Escapade
Runtime: 46:35

1.  Ganapati (Trilok Gurtu/Michael Quartermain) 3:52
2.  You, Remember This (Trilok Gurtu) 5:43
3.  Seven Brings Return (Trilok Gurtu) 8:28
4.  Shunyai (Trilok Gurtu) 8:29
5.  Who Knows The Mind (Trilok Gurtu/Michael Quartermain/Kai Echardt) 8:46
6.  Kathak (Trilok Gurtu) 6:38
7.  Brazilian (Trilok Gurtu) 4:37

Trilok Gurtu (Drums, Tabla, Percussion, Voice)
Jaya Deva (Ganawa, Voice, Guitar)
Kai Eckhardt (Bass Guitar)
Ravi Chary (Sitar, Harmonium)
Neneh Cherry (Voice) - 1
Shobha Gurtu (Voice) - 2,7
Steve Lukather (Guitar) - 3
Theodosii Spassov (Kaval) - 7

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