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  • Archives
     

    Nathamuni Brothers – “Madras 1974 ” – [Fire Museum Records]

    I was sort of hoping for the glory of the Jaipur Kawa Brass
    Band, but this is a different kettle of sonic tea. This is
    another large ensemble, accustomed to playing outdoors (this
    was evidently recorded on a patio in 1974!) The clarinet-ty
    nagaswaram is twice as long as the shehnai, its sound is a
    tighter shade of shrill. It is strongly featured and often
    with a pair or more leading the charge, the notes definitely
    slither in Carnatic ecstasy, but the tone is oddly pure.
    I miss the a raspier gasping to a degree. Also the bumps and
    brrppts of the brass are very much in the background, even
    then they are smoothed out. I will say that several times the
    tabla/drums get good and driving, like at the end of #3.
    The improv introduction to #4 is stellar, as free as any fire
    jazz…completely killer! The next track is an epic 28 minute
    excursion, again I found the drumming pushing my prana buttons
    even more than the reeds. Some of the melodies sound closer to
    home, rue Brittania?? And I’m not counting the English “Note”
    on track 8 which would bring a tear to Popeye’s eye. Glad the
    CD doesn’t end there. It closes with more nagaswaram noodling.
    A solid release…as one would expect…by way of a UC Irvine
    musicologist by the name of Robert Garfias.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on September 13, 2007 at 8:21 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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