Posted by & filed under CD Reviews.

Ode To An Auto Rickshaw is the collaboration between saxophone quartet Compass and the Indian duo of Sarangan Sriranganathan on vocals and sitar and tabla maestro Bobby Singh. The quartet which consists of local soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax players weave, duck and meander amongst one another through droning sitars, classical Indian rhythms and singing. The first five tracks composed by alto player Jeremy Rose comprise the entire River Meeting Suite with the opener First Light beginning with Sarangan’s haunting vocal accompanied by sitar before being joined by tabla and horns. The rest of the suite continues similarly with duelling sax and sitar solos all working to meld the traditional Indian rhythms with western tonality. The final track and album namesake Ode To An Auto Rickshaw composed by Sandy Evans conjures up imagery of snake charmers and hustlers in the busy streets of old Mumbai, once again with battling sax solos and concludes with a korvai by Guru Karaikudi Mani after a scintillating tabla solo by Singh. Haunting and hypnotic the album is a wonderful continuation of experimentation between Indian and western music.

***