Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saagara – Saagara 2 (2017)


Wacław Zimpel - alto clarinet, bass clarinet, khene
Giridhar Udupa - ghatam
Bharghava Halambi - kanjira
Mysore N. Karthik - violin
K Raja - percussion
Pramath Kiran - tabla, morchang

Saagara 2


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by the Jazz-World Fusion ensemble Saagara led by Polish clarinetist/composer Wacław Zimpel and including several traditional Indian musicians. On this album Zimpel again cooperates with the Berlin based producer mooryc, who mixed the album. The album presents eight original compositions, all composed by Zimpel except one which was co-composed by him, mooryc and Sara Kałużna. The album was recorded in India.

This album marks a change of direction for the ensemble and in contrast to the debut album's traditional Indian Music orientation this album tries to create an amalgam with more Western Music involvement. As a result it is overall more Jazz oriented and certainly much more open to a wider music-loving audience.

Although Zimpel certainly did not invent the concept of interaction between Indian and European Music, which has already been attempted by many excellent musicians since the early 1960s, his approach to the process of amalgamation is in many respects much more organic, and as a result the music on this album does not sound like an artificial effort to force two dissimilar musical traditions to coexist, but more like a new music born in the process.

Zimpel, who has always displayed an affinity or even an obsession with drone-like repetitive musical elements, finds a gentle version of these reverberations which are an intrinsic element of Indian music, and uses them most effectively. His Jazzy solos and melodic improvisations feel also completely at ease with the rest of the instruments.

Overall this is a superb World-Jazz Fusion album, definitely one of the best such endeavors on the Polish scene in the last few years. It is also one of the best Zimpel's recordings as a clarinetist in a while. It is a delightful musical experience from start to finish and has a tendency to keep growing on the listener with each listening session. Most warmly recommended!

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