Lack of planning and preparation generally leads in most cases in life, to anything but success. That goes without saying. At the same time, it is not necessarily the rule. Case in point is some of the best improvised jazz to ever be created. Some of the best classical compositions are works that also were developed as they progressed. Now this Friday, the World Music community will have its own entry to support the noted statement when Guy Buttery releases his new album, One Morning in Gurgaon. Crafted in partner with Mohd. Amjad Khan and Mudassir Khan, the seven song record was created literally in a single morning, thus the record’s title. According to the album’s liner notes, that limited time frame was not something that the trio planned, but rather that happened by chance. It forced the group to essentially craft the record almost on the fly so to speak. The session ultimately led to some interesting content, as is evidenced in part through the album’s penultimate entry, ‘Bakithi.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘Chidiya,’ which opens the 46-minute record, is another example of the positive that rose from the trio’s short recording time. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Kya Baat,’ another late entry to the album, is yet another example of the positive that rose from the stress of the group’s recording session. It will also be discussed later. When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the rest of the record’s songs, the whole becomes another unique addition to this year’s field of new World Music albums.
Guy Buttery’s forthcoming album One Morning in Gurgaon, which he crafted with Mohd. Amjad Khan and Mudassir Khan, is an example of what good can come from people making the most of a bad situation. It is a record that World Music fans and those of Buttery and company will agree equally is worth hearing. That is because even in such a short time together, the trio crafted quite the interesting group of compositions. One of the most interesting of those works comes late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Bakithi.’ ‘Bakithi’ stands out because of its balance of Indian and Western influences. Throughout the course of the nearly five-minute opus, the pairing of the guitar line – which boasts a sort of country/folk vibe a la Dave Matthews and Ben Harper – and the Indian instrumentation makes for such a unique work in itself. It makes the song stand out opposite its counterparts clearly. The song starts off a little contemplative in its nature, but once it gets going, the two sides really get audiences engaged and entertained. The production here is just as much to attribute to that impact as the song itself. The echo effect used in the Indian instrumentation gives that side its own depth that, set against the song’s more Western-influenced guitar line, really adds such a welcome aesthetic to the whole. That joining of “East” and West here is important not just on the musical level, but also the cultural level, too. It serves to show what happens when two cultures work together. All things considered here, the song proves to be just one of the most important of the album’s songs. ‘Chidiya’ is another example of all the good that came from the trio’s brief recording session.
‘Chidiya,’ leans more toward the trio’s affections for Indian music and its culture. The song barely tops the two minute mark, clocking in at two minutes, five seconds. Even in that short time, the song evokes such depth and emotion from the simple arrangement. It is centered on am unidentified string instrument that sounds an awful lot like a cello, but obviously is not. The simple, mournful approach to the song is so rich. Going back to the understanding that this song and each work featured in the album was essentially an improvised work, that the trio was able to bring about so much heart in this song is another statement of how sometimes, just sometimes, a bad situation can in fact create something positive. It is just one more of the songs that serves to exhibit how much this album has to offer. ‘Kya Baat’ is yet another way in which Buttery’s new album proves a success.
‘Kya Baat’ is stylistically similar to ‘Bakithi’ in that it once again brings together Buttery and company’s Western and Indian leanings. At the same time, the arrangement is once again unique from the rest of the album’s entries. Instead of the lighter approach of ‘Bakithi’ or even the mournful approach of ‘Chidiya,’ this song presents more of an urgent, contemplative sense. That sense is especially established through the pairing of the tabla and guitar. The other unnamed Indian string instrument invluded in the mix adds even more depth to the whole. As the song progresses, the urgency in each instrument’s line increases, eventually building to a climax near the song’s finale that will leave listeners in awe. That is especially the case as the climax immediately takes listeners back to the urgency exhibited in the song’s opening. That also builds quickly back to a second climax at the finale that leaves listeners just as fulfilled. Keeping that in mind, the whole of this song proves in itself just as much as the other songs examined here that even though Buttery and company had so little time to record this album, the product that the group produced was and is a success. That is even clearer when all three songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries. All things considered, the whole of the album proves to be a unique new addition to this year’s field of World Music albums that is well worth hearing.
Guy Buttery’s new album, One Morning In Gurgaon is an interesting presentation. Crafted alongside with his friends Amjad Khan and Mudassir Khan, the seven-song record holds its own against its fellow World Music offerings because of its featured arrangements. The arrangements bring out the best of Buttery’s own performance and those of his friends. At times blending what sounds and feels like Western influences with Indian and at others leaning more directly toward the group’s Indian influences, the whole presents unique content from one song to the next, as is evidenced through the songs examined here. When the songs in question are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a work that World Music aficionados will enjoy just as much as those who are more interested in pure Indian music.
One Morning in Gurgaon is scheduled for release Friday through Riverboat Records and World Music Network. More information on the album is available along with all of Buttery’s latest news at:
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