Friday, June 10, 2016

Ross Hammond, Sameer Gupta, Upward

I am preconditionally inclined toward any well-done merging of rock-jazz and Indian music. So it is only natural that I would take to Upward (Prescott Recordings). It melds the 12-string acoustic guitar of Ross Hammond with the tabla of Sameer Gupta.

There are eight improvisational jams that work nicely. Ross plays some outgoingly musicianly guitar that is in a developed sort of post-raga-rock mode, not cliche oriented but original, thoroughgoing in a modal, folksy bluesy manner that marks Ross as a talented guitarist. Sameer plays beautifully and does a great job incorporating multiple tabla drums tuned to various intervals while also articulating some movingly intricate tabla pulsations.

The two together are a fine fit. The music keeps one focused in its artistic unexpectedness and its interestingly expansive improvisational panorama.

If you dig the idea of some new ways to articulate the Western-Indian nexus and can appreciate a fine guitarist and fine tabla player holding forth at length, this one will find you in a happy place!

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