Jazz orient Re-Orient banner

Baluji Shrivastav & Re-Orient
Baluji Shrivastav & Re-Orient

Baluji Shrivastav -
sitar, tabla, dilruba, ghatam, pakhavaj, voice, gopi, bulbultarang, swarmandal, keyboard, manjira, ghunguru, bells, samples
Linda Shanovitch -
Chris Conway -
keyboards, piano, acoustic & electric 9 string guitar, low whistle, voice, shaker
+ guests
Hossam Ramzy - darabuka, duff
Andy Sheppard - soprano saxophone
Guy Barker - trumpet

Jazz Orient aka Re-Orient

Pharoah's Dream
In Candlelight
The Way I Feel
The Seven Wonders
Taal Manjari - The Flowering of Rhythm
Spirit of Joy

soundclips at amazon.co.uk

Another feast from Re-Orient with Baluji Shrivastav, this time featuring as very special guests the legendary musicians Andy Sheppard, Guy Barker and Hossam Ramzy. This album features some of Baluji's longer and more complex pieces plus the usual exotic pieces from the band.

"It's the work of master musicians and it is fun and engaging." - Rootsworld

This album started life as a solo Baluji Shrivastav album. He'd built up some tracks over time at his home studio including guests Andy Sheppard and Hossam Ramzy.

Then the record label decided late in the day to make it another Re-Orient album so Chris Conway came down to a studio in London for a couple of days bringing one piece (The Seven Wonders) and a improvising idea (Watercolour) and adding some music to tracks already recorded. Guy Barker joined at this stage as a guest as well. Linda introduced a song (Fruit) and they added a tune by Linda & Baluji's daughter Leela.

Due to the way the album started out (as a Baluji solo album) there is inevitably less of a band feeling here than on previous Re-Orient albums - CC only apears on 5 tracks and Linda on 6. So the result is nether fully a Baluji solo album, nor quite a Re-Orient album. There is much excellent music here though and fans of Baluji's pieces on the other albums will find much here to enjoy. Also it is a pleasure to hear the excellent guests play with Baluji head to head.

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

1, 2, 3, 6, 9 - by Baluji Shrivastav
5 by Chris Conway
7 by Linda Shanovitch
4 by Leela
8 by Chris Conway, Linda Shanovitch, Baluji Shrivastav

Due to the high profile guests on the album, it did receive quite a bit of notice in the music press.

When Guy Barker recorded his session he packed up his trumpet and took a tube train to play with Georgie Fame at Ronnie Scotts club.

CC's fave track -Watercolour


Re-Orient have been going for two full decades now with their jazz-Indian hybrid, refining it over the course of several albums to the point where it's most definitely natural, and works very well, both rhythmically and melodically. It's adventurous at times, as with the lengthy "Portrait of a Swan," and can also be lulling and loving, as they prove on "Dangerous Ground," revisiting the first song they recorded together, taking it into bossa nova ground -- but even there they manage to put in something edgy. That they're accomplished is beyond question, with a deep knowledge and love of Indian music -- the konnakol mouth percussion of "Celebration" shows much of that, embedded into a sprightly, happy piece. On the tunes where they do stretch out, like "Tides," they create some gorgeous textures, and have a chance to exploit the possibilities of the instruments and fusion. Let's hope they have another 20 years together. - Chris Nickson


Sitar and tabla drums are key to most of the music here and thus it's a good thing that Baluji Shrivastav is a whiz on both. He's also skilled on a number of other Indian instruments, and what's more, he's got a knack for combining them with some freewheeling jazz and global textures.

The results can sound fairly traditional or, as on this album's "Pharaoh's Dream" and "Taal Manjari- Flowering of Rhythm," get techno enough to show that Shrivastav and his mates in Re-Orient are progressive minded as well. As with much Indian-based music, there is a lot of rhythmic and melodic complexity here. What keeps it from becoming too stuffy and intimidating is the spark and ease with which additions such as Hossam Ramzy's Egyptian percussion and Guy Barker's trumpet are brought on board.

Though at times the tracks twist and turn a little too much and overstay their welcome, pieces like the slinky finale "Spirit of Joy" make the trip worthwhile. When you're feeling burnt out on bhangra or Bollywood, give this other kind of Indian fusion a try. It's the work of master musicians and it is fun and engaging. - Tom Orr

to buy
only £9 - free postage

also available from

Re-Orient - Baluji Shrivastav & Re-Orient

you might also like

Re-Orient Undiscovered Time
Undiscovered Time

Re-Orient Seven Steps To The Sun CD
Seven Steps To The Sun

Re-Orient Indian World Music Fusion
Indian World Music Fusion

Jazz Orient - Bird Dancer CD
Jazz Orient - Bird Dancer

more Chris Conway
world fusion