Trilok Gurtu: Baba
Trilok Gurtu (drums, tabla, percussion)
Living Magic (CMP CD 50)
Daniel Goyone (keyboards), Nicolos Fiszman (bass), Tunde Jegede (kora), Shanthi Rao (veena), Nana Vasconcelos (congas).
Composed by Trilok Gurtu.
Recorded: Zerkall, Germany, March 1991
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Indo-jazz percussionist Trilok Gurtu never disappoints. He can mesmerize you with meditative Indian drumming, knock you back in your seat with some cymbal crashes on a Western drum kit, or make you laugh your ass off by using some ridiculous implement as a percussion instrument. Over the years he has also proven to be a very fine composer.
"Baba" begins with an Aboriginal basso buffo of sorts. Saxophonist Jan Garbarek answers these funny- sounding deep voices in the wind with a more serious intent. Soon he introduces the slow and somber melody as Gurtu pounds a thudding backbeat. Gurtu takes advantage of open space by filling it with percussion from every source within his reach. Garbarek's playing is labor intensive and performed at a snail's pace. Yet the lugubrious melody is maintained. An Eastern-style funk, led by bassist Fiszman, speeds things up a bit and provides even more opportunities for Gurtu's percussion bag of tricks. "Baba" is really a percussion solo with the melody taking second fiddle. Those of you familiar with Gurtu's solos know that this is a very good thing.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky