RED BARAAT

Chaal Baby (NCM East)

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos - — Paul Wei­de­man

Sunny Jain is a dholi. His in­stru­ment of choice is the dhol, a dou­ble-sided, bar­rel-shaped, drum from north­ern In­dia, which he beats slung over one shoul­der. His pre­vi­ous ef­forts in­clude the al­bums As Is (2002) and Mango Fes­ti­val (2004), both of which also fea­tured the Pak­istani Amer­i­can gui­tarist Rez Ab­basi and other mu­si­cians. Red Baraat, a New York group led by Jain, spe­cial­izes in pop­u­lar songs from Bol­ly­wood and the Pun­jab re­gion, as well as orig­i­nals like Jain’s ti­tle track, which has a very cool, strut­ting groove. The disc opens with “Pun­jabi Wed­ding Song (Balle Balle),” a Hindi tune strong on drums, horns, and rhyth­mic shouts. There are en­er­getic so­los by Arun Luthra on so­prano sax and Dave Smith on trom­bone, plus red-hot rhythm by per­cus­sion­ists Jain and Ro­hin Khe­mani and bouncy sousa­phone-play­ing by John Altieri. It’s a mad­cap blend of the sounds of New Orleans and In­dia. The Pun­jabi hit “Tu­nak Tu­nak Tun” starts off with mouth rhythm, one more el­e­ment in this heady mu­si­cal stew. It brings to mind a street fes­ti­val and col­or­ful dancers in aban­don. Luthra’s solo is par­tic­u­larly feral. The party slows down for Khe­man’s “Ar­cana,” and then bounces back for an­other Pun­jabi tune, “Hey Ja­malo.” This is noth­ing but wild, loose, and fun. Good luck just sit­ting there with this mu­sic play­ing.

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