Bada Boom by Ranjit Barot, a CD Review by Raul Amador
I am always excited to discover the musical richness of the world. These sounds may not be new where they originated, but they can be new to me. The musical treasures of India are our current area of interest. The Beatles exposed us to the Sitar and Ravi Shankar. Aerosmith brought us “a Taste of India”. Most recently, we were totally engulfed by ”Jai Ho” and the soundtrack of “Slumdog Millionaire”! As always, I contend that music is the only universal language that unifies the entre world.
Bada Boom by Ranjit Barot teased me in the first thirty seconds of the first track “Singularity” as I asked myself… “What kind of funny disjointed piece is this?” Then, suddenly without warning, the rest of the track knocked me on my butt as this amazing, powerful, monster piece got underway. This is a serious blend of “East” meets “West” where neither is compromised.
The level of sophistication found in this music tells me that there is an advanced musical scene in India with very deep roots in a solid cultural base. I had visions of what “Modern” India must be like as I listened.
The supporting cast for Ranjit Barot’s compositions and arrangements are all stellar in their own fields. It’s kind of like a “Steely Dan” approach to making a CD with “Ringers” in the studio. We need to keep in mind that Ranjit himself is driving all these pieces with his drums, keyboards and vocals.
The fact that Matthew Garrison and Dominique DiPiazza are in the line up tells you a little something. As if that weren’t enough, additional bass support comes from Elie Afif, Mohini Dey and Nicholas Fiszman. All do a solid job here. Since we are busy throwing names out here, let’s mention that John McLaughlin pitches in on Guitar! The many other very talented musicians that collaborated on this project are way too many to list here.
The delicious “Indian” flavor comes from the masterful use of Veena, Indian percussion, djembe, and Vocals. Some highlights include “Singularity” that I already mentioned; Listen for Matthew’s excellent support on this one.
T=0 starts off slow but quickly comes to a fast and furious boil. Dominique’s “Percolating” bass work keeps this one on the hot burner!
“Supernova” eases us into a calm and serene state only to weave us into an intricate tapestry of musicality.
“Dark Matter” opens with a percussive Vocal attack and evolves into a deliberate groove supported by some serious brass and vocals tied into a fusion feel.
The last track, “origin” ends this CD with the perfect feel for a “Bollywood” dance number. Get up on your feet and move those arms!
There is lots of very cool material here. Check it out!