Friday, October 2, 2009

Indo-Jazz Anyone?

Kadri Gopalnath (saxophone)
Knowing my deep love for the Indian, Pakistan and the Asian subcontinent, a friend of mine turned me on to Kadri Gopalnath, an Indian saxophone player. He does an unbelievable job of melding Eastern culture into a Western instrument and making it still feel very Indian.

I have to admit I don't own allot of his music but I have delved into enough that I can say if you are looking to spread your wings and listen to something really new and different, than Gopalnath is a wonderful musician to check out. Kadri discovered the saxophone while on a trip to England. Upon returning to India he modified the instrument in order to accompany his Carnatic music style (spiritual vocal music of India). The results are quite interesting. It is quite jarring to hear a saxophone in Indian music but after just a few minutes you realize how amazing the combination is to your ears and how spiritual it can be. As with the voice of Pakistani artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the saxophone of Kadri Gopalnath can be very intoxicating.

There are at least 60 albums available and no I don't own all of them but I can recommend a few that are cheap and worth downloading.

Saxophone Vol. I - III (Vani Recordings, 1999)
Gem Tones (Ace Records, 2000)
Saxophone (Geethanjali, 2006)

A very loose connection could be made with John Coltrane's latter work which was very influenced by Indian tradition. So if you are familiar with the Coltrane albums Ascension, Interstellar Space and Sun Ship etc., then I would suggest you check out Kadri Gopalnath. And to everyone else--take a few minutes and open your mind to whole new experience. You won't be disappointed.


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