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Raga & Blues​/​Rhapsody in Yaman

by Richard X Bennett

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Richard X Bennett - piano & composition Gaku Takanashi - bass Naren Budhkar - tabla


Here is the complete "Raga & Blues" (Mystica Music 2011) as well as three tracks from "Rhapsody in Yaman" (Mystica Music 2012).

These are the original liner notes from "R&B":

"Raga & Blues" is a remarkable collection of three exhilarating ragas: Raga Malkauns, Raga Todi and Raga Jogkauns. Raga Malkauns is one of the most ancient ragas of Indian Classical Music. The ragamala of Malkauns, in this album, is traditionally that of a heroic man chewing paan. It begins with a beautiful solo piano "Alap", followed by the slow, soulful "Jersey Blues". The following track "Crow Hop" is another tinge of Raga Malkauns, propelled by powerhouse bassist Gaku Takanashi. Inspired by a Native American dance, it ends with a rocking Jhala.
The ragamala of the second raga Miyan Ki Todi is of a beautiful woman stroking a veena surrounded by deer. The mystical "Alap" is followed by the erotic and mysterious tango entitled "Saffron and Camphor" and then a fast, exhilarating jazz-blues reflecting the busy streets of Bandra in "Bandra Blues".
The third exquisite raga featured is Raga Jogkauns, which begins with "Alap" and is followed by "Salute to the Seven Khans", a cheery duo with a r&b flair. Thus ends the awesome garland of ragas.

"I first came to India nine years ago and quickly fell in love with Hindustani Classical music. I relish the concentration, commitment and purity in each and every note and phrase. When I adapt raga to the piano, the main challenge is to play music that is recognizable as a specific raga while still keeping the myriad colours of my personal piano sound.
In "Raga & Blues" I have added more western sounds and rhythms that are close to my heart. Her are three of my favorite ragas, "Malkauns", "Miyan Ki Todi" and "Jogkauns", all having a lot of blues feeling. Each raga starts with a meditative solo alap. The trio numbers that follow add joy, revelry and groove to the party."
Richard X Bennett


released June 1, 2011

Richard X Bennett - piano, melodica & compositions

Gaku Takanashi - bass (#2, 3, 5, 6 &10)
Naren Budhkar - tabla (#2, 3, 5, 6 & 8)
Steve Gorn - bansuri flute (#9 & 10)
Paula Jeanine Bennett - conga (#10)

in warm remembrance of two special friends, Niranjan Jhaveri & Kamal K. Pandit

@2011 & 2012 Mystica Music

"Raga & Blues" live: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgz11a3qWZnXXCWLUTk4sdSMp-imKq8Fn


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Richard X Bennett Brooklyn, New York

In NYC composer/pianist Richard X Bennett has performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Guggenheim Museum, The Rubin Museum, Brooklyn Museum & Central Park Summerstage. Internationally, his bands have played in over twenty countries. He has twelve albums on Indian, American & British labels.
"Hypnotic" - New Sounds
"unabashedly joyous, groove-centric, spiritually danceable" NYC Jazz Review
... more

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