Musafir's Dhola Maru
Lusty and sacred at once, crossing over between different identifiable musical strains, the music Musafir's Dhola Maru (Sounds True M114; 69:03) is beguiling, partly for its paradoxes. It's name translating as "pilgrimage," Musafir is based in the northwestern Indian region called Rajasthan, and produces an enchanting, not-quite-categorizable music that refers, concurrently, to Pakistani qawwali, Hindustani music as well as the swagger and vigor of music in the Gypsy/Roma tradition. It all adds up to an inspired stew, picking up strains from that region of the world, with fiery vocals over insistent beds of harmonium and percussion. Word has it that they also put on a live show of fervent and gymnastic spectacle. The sound on record is spectacle enough to warrant a listen.