Taufiq, Ustad Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar, Shankar M Rhydhun, An Odyssey of Rhythm Reviews

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“Taufiq, Ustad Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar, Shankar M...”

★★★★☆

written by jfderry on 25/06/2007

Taufiq, Ustad Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar, Shankar M Rhydhun , An Odyssey of Rhythm - 1. Tree Of Rhythm
2. Rhy In You
3. Other Rhythm
4. Ear To There
5. Nand
6. Rhydhun (Nothing But Voice)
7. Jiji Rhy
8. 1/2 To 16
9. Tree Of Rhythm (pure mix)

INCLUDES LAST RECORDING & FOOTAGE OF USTAD ALLA RAKHA, INTERVIEW, BIO'S & VIDEO.

This is such a personal project for the brothers Hussain, Taufiq and Zakir, sons of the late great Alla Rakha, that it is only fitting to let them tell us about the music themselves,
"The Tree of Rhythm: It is the first ever composition where in the whole family have recorded and performed together. The composition is in a rare taal of five matras (beats) called Sulfakta. The melody is also a rare Dhrupad composition. The key highlight of the composition is the first ever professionally recorded vocal recital by Ustad Allarakha, which was also his last gift to the world.

The Rhy in you: This composition is based on a live performance rendered by Taufiq's own band 'Surya' wherein Taufiq and other percussionists have created a polyrhythm using their own body as an instrument, interspersed with wooden drums and vocal textures.

The Other Rhythm: This album marks his transition and a crystalling of his love from the tabla to the percussion. He have featured Shankar Mahadevan, one of the most versatile and dynamic singers, whose timing and pitch is matchless and the famous mridangist, Sridhar Parthasarthy, bringing an element of joy and spontaneity to the composition.

Ear to there: This piece is a compilation of man's primal need to communicate through any medium and rhythm has been showcased as one such medium. By the intensity of the strokes and the interval between them, messages of love, war, arrival or departures are communicated by the drummer. All the tracks in this piece are laid down by him except the lone outside voice belonging to his dear friend Rajat Dholakia.

Nand: Based on raag Nand, this song is an apt example of these rhythmic designs. This song has been given a modern feel with the use of western instruments. This song is special with vocals being rendered by Taufiq's wife, Geetika Varde

Rhydhun (Nothing but voice): The highlight of the entire album, marks his first attempt at Accapella. Hisidea , very rapidly transformed into an actual rendition due to the support of Shankar Mahadevan and his engineer, John. In this composition each and every sound produced is either in Shankar's or his own voice.

Jiji Rhy: This piece is dedicated to the spirit of Maharashtra. This is the result of the beautiful mix of the Lejhim with folk vocal textures of Lavani, Gondhad, etc. This song features a very noted folk singer, Shri Keshav Badge, who was also a senior student of late Ustad Allarakha.

1/2 to 16: While conceptualising this album, he decided to work on a piece solely based on Zakir Bhai's idea, as he did with Abbaji in the first piece. In the studio Zakir Bhai started showing him how to displace the one as you groove, and that led to this piece, which moves in 15 and a 1/2 goes to 16 and again comes back to its origin. Besides one of the topmost violinist in fusion and carnatic music maestro L. Shankar graced this album on his request by playing in this piece. This piece ,interspersed with Geetika's alaap backed wtih his rhythm has become one of his favourite.

The Tree of Rhythm (as pure mix): This is a pure mix of the first song, where he has kept the background very bare in order to enhance the performance of the artistes on this piece. "

Suffice to say it is an astonishing album of very accessible rhythm works involving many forms of percussion and vocal inventions, konokol, etc. Rhythm has such a universal understanding among humans that you will think that you are listening to all the world's music, at the same time!

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