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Northern Namaste

Artist: Arun Ghosh

Date of Release: 28/04/2008

Catalogue no: CAMOCI001

Label: camoci records

Price: £12.50

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

aurora

4.58

2

 

o amar desher mati

5.30

3

 

bondhu

4.07

4

 

deshkar (love in the morning)

4.06

5

 

uterine

5.55

6

 

longsight lagoon

4.15

7

 

come closer

5.28

8

 

where shall i live now?

5.26

9

 

greenhouse

6.41

 

 

 

 

Arun Ghosh’s debut album, Northern Namaste, showcases clarinet-led orchestration, currently under-exploited
terrain within the contemporary jazz/world music lexicon. Utilising unorthodox time signatures, the vocabulary of
raags, folk rhythms and hip-hop bravado, Northern Namaste displays a kaleidoscope of sounds - urgent, meditative,
erotic and heartfelt.
Whilst Arun’s playing encompasses the raw energy and aggression of Miles Davis’s Dark Magus, the sonic diversity of
multi-reedsman, Yusef Lateef, and recalls the spirituality of both John and Alice Coltrane’s Indo-Jazz excursions, his
cinematic arrangements cover territories travelled by Brian Eno, A R Rahman, and Abdullah Ibrahim.
Yet, Arun Ghosh treads his own path, transcending traditional music genre boundaries, with a Mancunian swagger
through jazz-noir aural landscapes to a new 21st Century global acoustic destination.
With Arun Ghosh as ‘Pied Piper’, Northern Namaste represents the renaissance of clarinettist as lead man.

 

Reviews

 

08/08/2008 The Scotsman

BORN in Calcutta, brought up in Lancashire and now resident in London, the clarinettist has absorbed a diverse and wide-ranging musical palette into his debut recording.

His own flowing clarinet is combined with piano, bass and drums, the tenor saxophone of Idris Rahman, and instruments from the Indian percussion tradition in a fluent and well-integrated fusion (although he doesn't like that term).

The music here is often atmospheric and reflective, but the up-tempo final track, Greenhouse, based on a traditional tune but with a contemporary feel in his arrangement, suggests there is plenty in reserve.

 

04/08/2008 Jamie Renton, Straight No Chaser

Razor-sharp playing and melodic invention mark out this debut from Midlands-based clarinettist Ghosh. From the bright opening track 'Aurora', this is Indo-jazz fusion with a kick.

Ghosh has assembled a fine ensemble of UK-based players including Soothsayer's saxman Idris Rahman, percussionist Aref
Durvesh and sitarist Jonathan Mayer (son of original Indo-jazz godfather
John Mayer). 'Longsight Lagoon' and 'Greenhouse' have a hard-edged, funky swagger, while the poignant 'Where Shall I Live Now' and a beautiful arrangement of the poet Tagore's 'O Amar Desher Mati' showcase Ghosh's reflective side.

This is a fully-rounded and impeccably performed release – one of the best of the year so far.

http://www.straightnochaser.co.uk/reviews.php

 

04/08/2008 Manchester Music

Arun is almost all things. Good things too. Northern for one, a clarinet virtuoso (as well as other instruments) for another, culturally aware of his Asian roots, a lover of classical and jazz as well as the more contemporary fusions. Whilst most people in this position would seek to dwell on just one of these aspects, Ghosh fuses everything, reaching across genres, communities, sounds and ideas. There’s this unique thread of a semi-classical overtone where traditional instruments and percussion stumble into modern progressive musical realms. At times this seamlessly transforms into various trance / dance flavours without the faintest sniff of sequencing or electronica. There are in fact a dozen musical players on this album.

Rather than being an album of background music, Ghosh has been careful to structure and play out a complete score. The result of this is seen in the fluid melodies and comforting support of a piano and a range of glowing instruments, all with something equally important or indeed exciting to contribute. It’s stirring triumph not least musically, but as much for the fact that Arun Ghosh manages to transcend all boundaries – the world would be a much better place if there were more people like him.

http://www.music-dash.co.uk/releases/release.asp?item=5546

 

25/07/2008 Martin Longley, BBC Online

Arun Ghosh has arrived, seemingly from obscurity, with this winning debut disc. His background flies from Calcutta to London, with some Bolton and Manchester experiences in-between. But rather than being a Nitin Sawhney successor, Ghosh is closer in feel to Gilad Atzmon in the way he chooses elements from his heritage culture and then pushes them through a jazz vortex. He gives equal attention to clarinet and piano, playing both simultaneously, for most of the time. If 'spiritual' jazz does indeed exist, then maybe Ghosh can float inside its realms. His is a calmer evocation, more along the lines of Alice Coltrane or Pharoah Sanders (the latter when in a more inward state). The core combo is augmented by Aref Durvesh (dholak and bayan drums), Corey Mwamba (vibraphone) and, most frequently, Idris Rahman (tenor saxophone).

The opening Aurora track is set to appear on Gilles Peterson's next Brownswood Bubblers compilation, so a target audience is already in place. Even so, this album will have strong appeal in the mainline jazz and global camps too. Ghosh's compositions are imbued with a sense of exoticism, but no strict geographical source. His very vocal clarinet escalations have roots in a streamlined version of the shehnai reed-flute tradition, though Arun is probably just as likely to be influenced by Don Byron. The first four pieces are enjoyable enough, but something spectacular happens from the fifth track onwards. Uterine sees Ghosh ascending on a steady curve, his clarinet underpinned by Rahman's tenor. A slurred Orientalism takes over Longsight Lagoon, a slogging procession towards the sweeping Come Closer, Ghosh continuing his dance. Then, clarinet and piano are highlighted against sparse percussion and vibraphone, before a morose bass-key flourish introduces the driving finale of Greenhouse, decorated with slapping and wobbling drumheads. We're on the edges of klezmer here, oddly enough. This entire second-half run has a sustained momentum that lends the listening experience a cumulative power. Ghosh is gently intense, quietly screaming.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/45p2/

 

15/05/2008 Alan Brownlee, Manchester Evening News

THE harmonium drone and tabla beats announce that we're in Indo-Jazz territory, but with a difference.

South African folksy tunes are transformed by questing rhyhms, introducing that indefinable Manc element.

While Arun Ghosh's clarinet, projecting all the joy and sorrow special to the instrument, instills the breath of life into variously serene and stirring themes. Idris Rahman on tenor saxophone, often playing in unison with Arun, adds a darker texture.

This is life affirming music that transcends cultural barriers, and demonstrates how refreshing a change of perspective can be.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/entertainment/music/world_music/s/1049844_arun_ghosh__northern_namaste_camoci

 

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