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World Music CD Reviews South Asia


Published April 19, 2006


Returning to his Indian-classical roots after years of wandering in jazz, pop, electronica and Afro-pop, percussionist Trilok Gurtu goes (almost) acoustic, recording in India while employing Indian musicians, including his mother, popular singer Shobha Gurtu and tabla master Zakir Hussain. The bandleader didn’t abandoned the electro-beat fusion that inspired such Brit-chart darlings as Talvin Singh; machine-made beats play into Remembrance’s gleaming textures. But from the opening strains of “Brindavan Dance” to the joyful beats of “Remembrance” to the remix swirls of “Maya” (a bonus track courtesy of Badmarsh and Shri, who culled the track from 2001’s The Beat Of Love), it’s clear where the percussionist left his heart. The sounds of sarangi, santoors and flute (played beautifully by Ronu Majumdar on “Our Heritage”), along with Gurtu’s many drums and tabla, wave in the Indian heat; the voices of Shobha Gurtu (on the hypnotic “Evening In India”) and Nandini Srikar (who shimmers on “Worship”) make you wonder how Trilok could leave Bombay again. Although a reverent love letter to a frequently recalled past, Remembrance is merely a refueling for further travels. But it’s good to be home, if only for a short while.