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Meetings in India
Max AHMAN
Absolute Samba
[3.09]
Meetings In India [6.41]
Desert Jig [3.54]
Adios Ferdinando [3.17]
Gnodon [4.27]
Dark Days [4.23]
C. PAULIN
Gånglåt Från Laggars [4.16]
Dallas SMITH
River Of Winds [3.43]
Vietnamese Reggae [4.35]
Tarantelle [5.03]
Seven And A Half [4.54]
The Fine Line [4.35]
The Dance Of Life [5.20]
Fazal QURESHI/Sebastian PRINTZ-WERNER
Tabla Chants [3.09]
Traditional
Rag Hindol [6.31]
Mynta (Fazal Qureshi (tabla, kanjira), Santiago Jimenez (violin), Dallas Smith (flute, soprano, clarinet, bansuri), Max Åhman (acoustic guitar), Christian Paulin (electric bass), Sebastian Printz-Werner (percussion)), Sridar Parthasarathy, Kerstin Sonnback, Coste Apetrea
rec. Stockholm, Arhus, Bombay, 2007-2009
PROPHONE RECORDS PCD 098 [67.44]  

This rather fascinating disc presents an intriguing mixture of jazz and styles and sounds from musical traditions worldwide with a heavy dose of Indian music and influence. The title of the disc, Meetings in India, also reflects the fact that the group have performed in India several times. Indian music is an important facet of Mynta’s output, the group being a jazz/fusion band who have incorporated Swedish folk music, Arabic sounds and Latin-American rhythms along with traditional Indian classical music into their sound-world. 

The disc opens in a wild and wacky manner with Absolute Samba, a mixture of verbal tabla with Brazilian-influenced instrumentation and melodies. The following eponymous Meetings In India comes by way of a contrast. It is a serene work, opening with the Bansuri Flute over the Indian Tanpura drone. Vocal tabla leads us into a more frenetic section for jazzy guitar and flute dialogue before we return to more serene and calm music: a really rather beautiful and evocative piece. New sounds are introduced with Gånglåt Från Laggars - a combination of kulning (ancient Swedish herding calls), klezmer clarinet, Arabic percussion and Indian mouth percussion; a rather thrilling piece, which builds to an exhilarating climax. 

The disc continues to introduce new styles, instruments and influences: River Of Winds, for example, is more meditative, whilst in the Latin-influenced Adios Ferdinando we get incredible virtuosity from the violinist. Vietnamese Reggae is something of a complete mix, from Vietnamese folk melodies to Reggae rhythms. Dark Days stars flamenco guitar along with Indian tabla and flute. Tarantella is an Indian/Brazilian version of the mediaeval Tarantella dance. Seven and a Half refers to the seven and a half beat rhythmical cycles heard in traditional Indian classical music, which are here combined with American blues. I was particularly impressed with the penultimate work, Tabla chants, featuring voice and drums to exhilarating effect. The final piece on the disc, Rag Hindol, takes us back to the Indian roots of the group, with a traditional classical raga, here in the form of a duet between the Bonsuri and tabla.
 
The cover design is clever, although there is a mistake on the track-listing inside. The rather sparse booklet notes with information about the works featured and the group itself - which fold out as part of the cover rather than being a separate element - really only just suffice. Yet on the whole this is an exciting, eclectic and satisfying disc, full of invention, energy, drive and inspiration from all corners of the globe.
 
Em Marshall-Luck  



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