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FYC: CHARU SURI'S "THE BOOK OF RAGAS VOL. 2" (JAZZ)

As one of the few female jazz composers from India, Charu Suri, who has been playing the piano since the age of five, is blazing a new trail with her sequel to her acclaimed "Book of Ragas." The second volume combines Western jazz, Eastern Indian ragas as well as Sufi improvisation.

"A first spin of the disc—to ears uninitiated to the music of Indian ragas—reveals sounds which seems as exotic as the Bossa Nova of Getz/Gilberto (Verve) did back in 1964. It also, as did that Bossa Nova shot across our bow, presents an alternate universe beauty, vibrating with life and a sense of hopefulness."- All About Jazz

FYC BOOK OF RAGAS. VOL.2 - INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ ALBUM

RAGA JAUNPURI -- JAZZ IMPROVISED SOLO (Piano)

Jaunpuri

Man Atkeya Beparwah De Nal
Us Deen Duni De Shah De Nal

My soul is entangled with the indifferent one
Lord of all things visible and invisible


Qazi Mullah Matti Dainde
Kharay Siyyane Rah Dasende
Ishq Kee Lagay Rah De Nal

Judgemental ones are full of advice,
The "righteous and wise" prescribe the path,
But Love needs no guidance from anyone

Asavari

 

Sud ragey jaan ko taab de baham

Teri zulf ka ik taar kiya

 

A hundred veins of life (jugulars) woven together

Are still less valuable than a single strand of my beloved's hair

 

Sakht kafir tha jis ne pehle meer

Mazhab-e-ishq ikhtiyar kia

 

This unbelief and disbelief is reserved for those

apostates who converted to the religion of love

Aaj Rang Hai (Today There is Color)

 

Aaj rung hai hey maan rung hai ri
Moray mehboob kay ghar rang hai ri
Sajan milaavra, sajan milaavra,
Sajan milaavra moray aangan ko
Aaj rung hai........
Mohay pir paayo Nijamudin aulia
Nijamudin aulia mohay pir payoo
Des bades mein dhoondh phiree hoon
Toraa rung man bhayo ri......,
Jag ujiyaaro, jagat ujiyaaro,
Main to aiso rang aur nahin dekhi ray
Main to jab dekhun moray sung hai,
Aaj rung hai hey maan rung hai ri.

Today there is Color Again,  what a glow;
I’ve found the beloved, yes I found him,
In my courtyard;
I have found my Master.
I roamed around the entire world,
looking for an ideal beloved;
And finally this face has enchanted my heart.
The whole world has been opened for me,
Never seen a glow like this before.
Whenever I see now, he is with me,
Oh beloved, please dye me in your Color;
Dye me in the colour of the spring, beloved;
What a glow, Oh, what a glow.

Sanakarabaranam

 

Piya bina ... piya bina, piya bina basiya
Baaje na, baaje na, baaje na

Without my beloved ... without my beloved

The flute doesn't bring forth the music

 

Aa bhi ja Aa bhi ja aye subha aa bhi ja

raat to kar alvida dilruba aa bhi ja

Come, morning, come.

Come my beloved and say goodbye to the night

THE BOOK OF RAGAS VOL. 2

Sufi Vocals: Falsa (Umer Piracha)

Vibraphone: Jesse Gerbasi

Piano/composer: Charu Suri

Recording, Mixing, Mastering: Brian Chirlo

Recorded at: Sound on Sound, Montclair, NJ

What started as an experiment only a few years ago has blossomed into a life's work for Suri, who fell in love with jazz but wanted to bring her Indian roots to a wider Western audience.

Highlighted by Jazz at Lincoln Center in its new releases roundup, the Book of Ragas vol. 2 features Suri on the piano, Sufi vocals and vibraphone. In this album, a tribute to all morning ragas ---sounds found in India. The vibraphone extends the percussive magic of the piano and adds an ethereal dimension, while Falsa's Sufi layered vocals brings together three distinct cultures all rooted in the art of improvisation. 

After singing several ragas as a child, Suri gravitated to becoming a piano virtuoso, performing everything from Bach to Chopin at concerts. It was only later on as a composer that she yearned to bring the sounds she heard as a child to a wider audience.

The Book of Ragas happened just by chance, when she collaborated with a Sufi singer and the two came out with the first album, a unique combination of Sufi improvisation, carnatic Indian ragas, and jazz.

Vol. 2 pushes the boundaries even more, exploring the beauty and harmonies of morning ragas. They range from energetic (Jaunpuri), melancholic (Asavari), brilliant (Sankarabaranam), to the joyous (Aaj Rang Hai).

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