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Tasa: Bhakti

You wouldn’t know it from the usual media sources, except maybe on the odd eclectic college radio show, but the mix and match process of jazz and world music continues apace. It’s a relatively underground phenom that occasionally pokes its head above the surface in places like the Knitting Factory or in the very occasional high-profile context, as with Shakti. But work is being done, and music is being made with an ear for cultural syntheses that make artful sense.

Fusion, of a worldly sort, is the milieu of Tasa, a Canadian group led by tabla player Ravi Naimpally. On Bhakti, the cover image combines the images of the Hindu deity Hanuman and Christ, and the music within is similarly torn in its sympathies-or you could say generous in its perspective. Exotic and atmospheric tunes give rise to Western blowing by guitarist John Gzowski, saxist Ernie Tollar (who couples on bansuri and ney) and bassist Chris Gartner (also credited with “groovy vibe”).

Originally Published