|Sundar's Induswest Project
by David Fujino July 2006
This CD is a mirror of Sundar Viswanathan's musical world a world of diversity in which tradition and innovation successfully meet.
"The Kanishka Suite" Tracks 1-3 is Sundar's spiritual tribute to the troubling memory of the 329 victims of the Air India Flight 182 sabotage. In "Samsara"'s 1-2, 1-2-3 groove, the Buddhist and Hindu cycles of human life and death are depicted. The promise of a slow release from these cycles is in the late night mood of "Moksha", and in the suite's third section, "Ahimsa", the possibility of freedom for all people is clearly sounded.
The well-chosen Canadian heavies creative Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and flugelhorn, exultant Kelly Jefferson on tenor sax, solid David Braid on piano, the capable Andrew Downing on bass, and the subtle Anthony Michelli on drums and percussion contribute their rich improvisational artistry to Viswanathan's notable compositions. New York-based Rez Abbasi's mellow-toned guitar and later, his plangent sitar-guitar on "Far-East End Blues", further colour the articulate emotionality of this music. And Sundar himself with his alto and soprano saxes, and his singing on "You Can Fly, Dear" makes his mark as a consistently original and haunting musical voice.
Hope and Infinity, the title of this CD, says a great deal about the multireedist/composer's upward reaching mind and spirit, and in the complicated rhythm of the chord changes of "Far-East End Blues" a humorous nod towards Louis Armstrong's famous "East End Blues" Sundar's South Asian musical influences blend seamlessly with the ambitious sonic flows of his fellow jazz musicians to create a different kind of world music.
But there should be no confusion: the main dialect spoken is jazz. As for this being 'intercultural' or 'world' music, none of the vigor and spontaneity of jazz is lost, and none of the deep wonders of South Asian Classical Music are compromised.