Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Israel to India, Sufi to Rajasthani Funk

Bouncing along in a brightly painted cab or breathing the sweet sanctity of a Sufi shrine, melodies come unbidden to musician and composer Shye Ben-Tzur. And they burst into full blossom on Shoshan (EarthSynch, distributed by White Swan; September 16, 2010), a funky filigree of unexpected trans-cultural devotional songs encompassing the soaring sounds of Rajastan, the literary cadences of Hebrew, and the pulse of a rock bass line.

The seemingly quirky juxtapositions--devotional qawwali music with Hebrew poetry, Indian classical vocals with rocking bass and Spanish guitar--flow from Ben-Tzur's decade-long love affair with India and his striking life experience. A published poet in his native Israel, he grew up studying music and playing in rock bands, until one fateful evening.

Ben-Tzur went to a concert given by two Indian classical masters, bansuri (flute) player Hariprasad Chaurasia and tabla player Zakir Hussain. He was so entranced by what he heard that he was soon packing his bags and heading to India, for what he thought would be a fairly short trip.

Full report here All About Jazz

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