Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Dan McClenaghan
What are the career choices for a classically trained musician? It's not sitting in an orchestra for violinist Trina Basu and cellist Amali Premawardhana. Instead, they chose the path of creating their own Indo-Western chamber ensemble, Karavika, to explore the sounds of Indian ragas and film songs, along with their original composition, "Sunrise," that blends two different Carnatic (South Indian) ragas.
The co-leaders are joined in their debut CD, Sunrise, by tablaist Advait Shah, who pulls the sound in an Eastern lean, and bassist Perry Wortman, who gives the music a Western foundation. The results are a gorgeous contrast between the long, sinewy, singing lines of the violin and cello and the tabla's intricate burble and pop punctuation, riding the warm pizzicato heartbeat of the bass. It is a liquid and organic brew that sounds inevitable, as if it's existed forever. The music displays a compelling simplicity/complexity dynamic in its exploration of folk melodies and classical stylings, with a mix of classical arrangement, inspired playfulness and soaring improvisation.
"On the Wing," opens with Shah's frenetic, ringing percolation. The strings join in, a sensual dance full of spirited rhythms. "Little Road Songs" begins with a lilting plucking of strings that segues into a gorgeously swaying melody. "Song That Floats on the Breeze" incorporates a drone backdrop with an elastic melody, while "The Dancer" features Basu, and then Premawardhana, singing mysteriously over a simple repeated bass figure. ... read more...
Personnel: Trinu Basu (violin); Amali Premawardhana (cello); Advait Shah (tabla).
Audio Mixer: Ross Bonadonna.
Recording information: Wombat Recording Co., Brooklyn, NY.
Photographer: Dipyaman Ganguly.