Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review - DOUG COX & SALIL BHATT with KAMKUMAR MISHRA -- Slide to Freedom

Doug Cox & Salil Bhatt with Kamkumar Mishra
Northernblues Music
All right, this is the kind of CD which gives reviewers nightmares, as they go to rate it. I agonized over the score. It could have been a nine, or 10, or it might have been a four, or five.
The problem is that this is not a music I am particularly familiar with, at least mixed as it is. There is a rather unique blending of jazz and world music.
Now I like jazz as a general rule, and world music always has an exotic appeal to the ear simply because it is not something we hear everyday.
Fuse the two together though, and it takes on some new properties which while pleasant enough, do force the listener to pay attention to catch the nuances of the musical styles coming together.
Jazz is often at its best recorded free form, where the artist is able to improvise as he goes. This album does follow in that tradition in feel. The numbers included here are generally longer pieces twisting through the two musical styles. Bhoopali Dance is more than 10-minutes in length, while Arabian Night, Fish Pond, Father Kirwani and Meeting by the Liver all weigh in near eight-minutes, or longer.
Of course it's the instrumentation which makes this album what it is. Cox supplies resophonic guitar, while Bhatt adds Satvik Veena, a guitar-like instrument Bhatt himself created.
Mishra adds the more traditional Indian percussion instrument the tabla.
It's a pretty interesting combination of sounds when you apply it to a bluesy classic such as Soul of a Man.
It is certainly interesting to see the way seemingly diverse musical styles can be interwoven. This might not be everyones' cup-of-tea, but it is unique enough the adventurous will want to check it out for sure.
Check it out at

- Review first appeared Yorkton This Week newspaper April 11, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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