Bada Boom (King Records/Abstract Logix Records KICJ 596, 2010)
Ranjit Barot is an outstanding drummer, composer and arranger from India. Many in his home country regard him as the leading performer of the drum kit in India. Bada Boom is his new album and the Mumbai-based Barot shows us why he is one of the leading forces in the international fusion jazz scene.
The first cut on the album, ‘Singularity,’ introduces a handful of Indian elements, such as veena by Punya Srinivas and konakol (percussive vocals) by Barot. However, most of the piece is straight ahead jazz fusion, featuring a guitar solo by John McLaughlin one of the great masters in the genre.
The Indian influences become more prominent in ‘T = 0’ with the participation of U Rajesh’s electric mandolin. The album gets really interesting on Track 3, titled ‘Revolution,’ which shows us the magic of Indian fusion music. The piece opens with the Tamil wind instrument known as nadaswarm that leads the way to dazzling Indian vocals by Vignesh Ishwar and Ranjit Barot’s konakol. ‘Revolution’ also features spectacular percussion interplay between percussionist Taufique Qureshi’s Indian drums and Ranjit Barot’s masterful drum kit.
The mesmerizing electric mandolin returns on ‘Supernova.’ This time it is performed by another Indian maestro, U. Srinivas, whose intricate and memorable solos demonstrate the versatility of the electric mandolin as a fusion instrument. Vocals play an important role in the energetic ‘Dark Matter,’ which features Palakkad Sreeram’s lead vocals and Ranjit Barot’s konakol and drums.
The album ends with a funky piece titled ‘Origin’ which features vocals by Kirti Sagathia and excellent guitar work by Wayne Krantz.
Ranjit Barot’s music really shines when he introduces the Indian music elements. I look forward to hearing more in this direction in the future.
With the dazzling album Bada Boom, Ranjit Barot proves that he is an essential musician in the international fusion jazz scene and a new creative force in world music explorations.
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