COMPOSERS: Surinder Sandhu
PERFORMER: Surinder Sandhu, Sheppard, Steve Vai, George Brooks, Shahbaz Hussain, SV Balakrishna
CATALOGUE NO: RESO 101
Having regrouped by retreating into neo-classicism in the Eighties, jazz reasserted itself in the Nineties by resorting to one of its classic strategies: extending hospitality to an extraordinary variety of other musics, adapting and assimilating them.
The music was thus able to emerge in the new millennium as unashamedly polystylistic, yet retaining its core strengths: interactive spontaneity and improvisational imagination.
Consequently, an average month’s new issues will now run the stylistic gamut, from the strictly conventional, through the mildly eccentric, to the wholly individual.
Sheppard’s saxophones are also featured on Saurang Orchestra by Wolverhampton-based sarangi player Surinder Sandhu.
The leader’s virtuosity draws the ear whenever he plays, but he has surrounded himself with instrumentalists from a dizzying array of traditions – the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, guitar legend Steve Vai, US saxophonist George Brooks, tabla player Shahbaz Hussain, South Indian percussionist SV Balakrishna and many more – so that occasionally the pudding is a little over-egged.
That said, however, Saurang Orchestra is a highly promising debut, setting out a stall that will undoubtedly be a valuable asset to the thriving jazz and related musics marketplace of the future.