Tag Archives: James Asher

Raising the Rhythms

James Asher – Raising the Rhythms

James Asher – Raising the Rhythms (Free Spirit Entertainment, 1999)

Citing influences from the Caribbean, America, India, Africa and Middle East, this promises to be an all-round world music album by percussionist James Asher. Our picks include the tracks Tropical Zinge, Spice Souk, Zingawele, and Sunny Side Up. The 10 tracks on this album make for about 52 minutes of music, but some of the pieces are downright cheesy and sound more like elevator music.

The opening and closing tracks are good, but many of the rest in between leave a lot to be desired. Pity, because there is a rich range of instruments: Sandeep Raval on tablas, Kiran Thakrar: on keyboards, Thomas Blug on guitar and Ted Emmett trumpet.

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Bravado Masala

James Asher and Mahesh Vinayakram – Bravado Masala (Times Music, 2008)

This album sounds promising and exciting on the cover, which certainly has an element of humor in it as well. The 8 tracks span just under an hour, but many of the pieces come across as rather cheesy and amateurish, which is quite surprising considering the fusion success of musicians like James Asher. Still, we recommend the track Lost Summer.

Another piece which also manages to stand out is Tabletop Dancer, which reveals influences of Middle Eastern sound. We would recommend instead Asher’s other fine fusion album, Feet in the Soil.

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