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Re-Orient with Baluji Shrivastav - Seven Steps To The Sun
Re-Orient Seven Steps To The Sun CD

Baluji Shrivastav -
sitar, voice, ghatam, dilruba, darbuka, pakhavaj, tabla, bulbultarang
Linda Shanovitch -
voice, tanpura, ankle bells
Chris Conway -
keyboards, acoustic & electric 9st guitar, tin & low D whistles, voice, kalimba, sampled bass, mandozither, hammer dulcimer, percussion
+ guests
Gerry Hunt -
classical guitar, soprano &  tenor sax, violin, flutes, bass, oud, voice
Clive Bell -
Indian bamboo flutes, voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla

Voices Of The Past
Rendezvous With Rama
Little Blue Bird
Seven Steps To The Sun
Ila's Dance
Forest River
Shifting Sands
Gathering Spirits
Life Is For Living
Voices Of The Future

This follow-up Re-Orient album is even more wide ranging.
Indian fusion picks up jazz, Latin, Arabic, medieval, and Balkan influences along the way to make what is sure to be another  hugely successful album. Produced by Chris Conway.

"Shrivastav and friends prove once again to be masters of world fusion."
- Dirty Linen Magazine

Re-Orient were determined for this recording to be an advance on the last one. Chris Conway did a lot of arranging on his pieces, and also took on the role of producer.

The band were truly satisfied with this album. It exceeded their expectations and showed a new direction from the previous album. Baluji's pieces were more classical/traditional with little fusion, Conway's pieces more diverse with more room for soloing, and more improvisations.

Jai Uttal, Ila Arun, Flora Purim, Arild Andersen, Oregon, Indian and Arabic folk musics, Okay Temiz.

1, 2, 5, 8, 14 by Chris Conway
3, 6, 9, 11 by Baluji Shrivastav
4, 7, 10 by Linda Shanovitch
12 by
13 by Conway/Shrivastav/Shanovitch/Hunt/Bell/Khan
15 by Conway/Shrivastav/Shanovitch/Hunt/Bel

Rendevous With Rama became one of the most played pieces ever by the band - It was heard on BBC TV (Who Do You Think You Are program), German TV, Polish TV and Estonian TV programmes and on US MTV cable.

Life is for Living is an piece Chris brought with him from The Rain Garden piece - a version can be heard on The Rain Garden's Closer To The Flame album.

Ila's Dance is dedicated to the Rajathani folk-pop diva Ila Arun.

Rendevous with Rama title is taken from the Arthur C Clarke book. Seven Steps To The Sun title is taken from the Fred Hoyle Book of that name.

CC's fave track - Ila's Dance


Jazz Orient / Re-Orient
1. Voices Of The Past (Conway) 0.29
This 12 beat rhythm cycle (divided as 7 + 5) of vocal percussion ("spoken bols") sets a mysterious atmosphere to be taken up later.

Baluji Shrivastav, Chris Conway, Linda Shanovitch, Gerry Hunt, Clive Bell - voices

2. Rendezvous With Rama
(Conway) 4.12
This Chris Conway composition is based on Punjabi folk rhythms, with hints of jazz and maybe a touch of reggae. It has one of those melodies you find yourself humming from the first time you hear it. Sitar, voice, tin whistle, soprano sax and tabla, all get windows to shine.

Baluji Shrivastav - sitar, pakhavaj
Chris Conway - keyboards, tin whistle, sampled bass, percussion
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - soprano saxophone

3. Nartaki (Girl Dancer)
(Shrivastav) 3.49
This is based on Raag Misratalang though it is also very close to Raag Misrajog. It is a pentatonic scale the notes of which are SA GA GAflat MA PA NI Niflat SA. The time cycle is tintaal (16 beats) and the combinations are composed keeping in mind North and South Indian dance patterns.

Baluji Shrivastav - sitar, tabla, voice, pakhavaj
Chris Conway - synthesizer
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Clive Bell - bamboo flute, voice

4. Little Blue Bird
(Shanovitch) 4.08
This was originally a song depicting a bird of peace struggling against the forces of destruction

Baluji Shrivastav - darbuka, pakhavaj
Chris Conway - keyboards, sampled bass
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - soprano saxophone, classical guitar
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

5. Seven Steps To The Sun
(Conway) 3.42
Another beautiful Chris Conway melody, full of twists and turns around a hypnotic 7/8 rhythm. The wonderful singing of Indian classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar inspired this composition.

Baluji Shrivastav - pakhavaj, dilruba
Chris Conway - keyboards, acoustic 9 string guitar, piano, sampled bass, mandozither, percussion
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - tenor saxophone
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

6. Bulbulblues
(Shrivastav) 4.12
Based on Taal Kaherva (8 beats) and Raag Bairag-kauns pentatonic scale - SA, GA-flat, MA, Ma-sharp, PA, NI-flat, SA. Everyone gathered around Baluji as he started playing his bulbul-tarang. Chris then brought out his mandozither. Baluji came up with the melody on the spot and this wonderful free-blowing improvisation around it followed, played on unique combination of instruments!

Baluji Shrivastav - bulbultarang
Chris Conway - mandozither
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - tenor saxophone
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

7. Saraswati
(Shanovitch) 2.33
This is an invocation to the Goddess of creative thought. The words translated into Sanskrit by Baluji are
Pale as the moon
Graceful as a swan
All the Arts conspire to please Saraswati
Goddess of the Sweet Word
Goddess of the Song
Goddess of Science and Learning
Pale as the moon
Graceful as a swan
Upon a Lotus she does rest
Goddess Saraswati

Baluji Shrivastav - voices, dilruba
Chris Conway - keyboards, piano, mandozither, natavungam, chordal arrangement
Linda Shanovitch - voices
Gerry Hunt - classical guitar, chordal arrangement

8. Ila's Dance (Conway) 4.07
This sunny, irresistible melody by Chris is played out over a frenetic rhythm. Typically Re-Orient and Chris Conway, this piece seamlessly displays so many influences - the Indian Folk rhythm, with a touch of Brazilian samba, jazz, a wonderfully intense rock-influenced electric guitar solo, and the theme ending on a classical Indian tihai. (A phrase that repeats three times to end on the first beat of the bar) Chris is a big fan of Indian folk/pop diva Ila Arun. Ila's Dance is dedicated to her.

Baluji Shrivastav - dilruba, naal, ghatam
Chris Conway - keyboards, electric 9 string guitar, piano, sampled bass, percussion
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - soprano saxophone, percussion

9. Forest River (Shrivastav) 6.40
This melody draws on Baluji's extensive knowledge of Indian folk styles as it follows the path of the river Ganges from the Himalayas, through the western region of Uttar Pradesh till it reaches Benares in the east.

Baluji Shrivastav - sitar, ghupi, swarmandal, percussion
Chris Conway - electric 9 string guitar, bells, water
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

10. Leela
(Shanovitch) 6.01
The name Leela in Sanskrit means "the drama of the cosmos". It is the name Baluji and Linda have chosen for their daughter. This piece is based upon a Kathak dance tihai (repeating rhythmic pattern) which is in taal tintaal (16 beats).

Baluji Shrivastav - sitar, darbuka, pakhavaj
Chris Conway - electric piano, tin whistle, sampled bass
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Gerry Hunt - oud, classical guitar
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

11. Pushpanjali (Offering of Flowers)
(Shrivastav) 5.33
This is based on two Raags Kirvani and Hemavati and two taals - one of 18 beats (sounding deceptively like Dadra of 6 beats as it is 6x3 ), and Ashtamangal in 11 beats.
Baluji Shrivastav - sitar, voice, swarmandal

Chris Conway - keyboards
Linda Shanovitch - vocal
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - violin, tanpura
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

12. Shifting Sands
(Conway/Shrivastav/Hunt/Bell) 5.20
On the final day of recording the group gathered to do improvisations. It was noted that there was an oud, a darbuka, and a ney in the room so an Arabic-feel improvisation was suggested. Shifting Sands was the result, played out over a 9/8 rhythm with Baluji's wonderfully spirited darbuka, and Chris's evocative piano.

Baluji Shrivastav - darbuka
Chris Conway - piano, sampled bass
Gerry Hunt - oud
Clive Bell - ney

13. Gathering Spirits
(Conway/Shrivastav/Shanovitch/Hunt/Bell/Khan) 4.00
Late at night the group realised that Ustad Faiyaz Khan would be leaving them to resume his tour with Hariprasad Chaurasia in the morning, and that they had one last chance to play with him for a while. So everyone made themselves comfortable in the studio and created this gem on the spot. The lateness of the hour gave a peaceful atmosphere to the improvisation. Chris added some of his more delicate exotic instruments later.

Baluji Shrivastav - sitar
Chris Conway - acoustic 9 string guitar, voice, kalimba, hammer dulcimer, mandozither, percussion
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - tenor saxophone
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

14. Life Is For Living
(Conway) 4.21
A fast and furious Turkish/Balkan inspired piece from Chris Conway in 5/4 time, with also quite a medieval feel to it. There are delightful solos on violin, voice, low D whistle and ghupi, then a wonderful percussion finale from Ustad Faiyaz Khan and Baluji Shrivastav, before the rousing, life-affirming melody returns. Chris occasionally plays two tin whistles in harmony at once, a trick that always goes down a storm at Re-Orient concerts.

Baluji Shrivastav - ghatam, ghupi
Chris Conway - tin whistles, low D whistle, electric piano, sampled bass, voice
Linda Shanovitch - voice
Ustad Faiyaz Khan - tabla
Gerry Hunt - violin
Clive Bell - bamboo flute

15. Voices Of The Future
(Conway/Shrivastav/Shanovitch/Hunt/Bell) 3.17
The mysterious chanting voices from the start of the album return. Over the initial germ of Chris's suggested vocal rhythm, the five improvising voices and synthesizer were added all together in one go. The suggestion of medieval feel co-exists with the feeling of outer space. Baluji's Indian vocal gymnastics, Linda's "sorceress" and Chris's soulful tones all can be heard in the weave, bringing the album to a cosmic conclusion.

Chris Conway - voices, synthesizer
Baluji Shrivastav, Linda Shanovitch, Gerry Hunt, Clive Bell - voices

Dirty Linen Magazine
This is a light, smooth blend of Hindustani music and American jazz. Multi-instrumentalist Shrivastav (sitar, dilruba, bulbul, tarang, and other instruments) surrounds himself with a fine group of musicians. Joining him are Chris Conway on keyboards, guitars and other instruments; Linda Shanovitch on voice; Ustad Faiyaz Khan on tabla; Gerry Hunt on saxophone and other instruments; and Clive Bell on bansuri, voice and ney. The arrangements take full advantage of the improvisational nature of both cultures music, giving short shrift on either.Traditional raags and taals form the basis for tonal and rhythmic exploration. The Eastern and Western instrumental timbres mix well, never sounding contrived. Shanovitche's light flexible voice floats over it all with cool insouciance. Shrivastav and friends prove once again to be masters of world fusion (PJL)

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Re_orient Seven Steps To The Sun original cover

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Indian World Music Fusion - Seven Steps to the Sun - Baluji Shrivastav

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