Korwar and co evocatively improvise over the length of 2 LPs, with the only pauses coming between each side.
On their Night Dreamer debut, the sensational drummer, percussionist and musical artist Sarathy Korwar and his allstar UPAJ Collective gain brand new ground in their mission to rebalance spiritual jazz with authentic Indian classical music. “UPAJ” means “to improvise” in Hindi, and recording direct-to-disc at Artone Studios with almost no preconceived directions, they truly capture the “spirit of spontaneous improvisation”, as Sarathy puts it, like never before.
Fluent on both tabla & drums, Korwar has firmly established himself on the UK jazz scene & far beyond, playing with the likes of Shabaka Hutchings & Hieroglyphic Being. Winning a Steve Reid Foundation award and most recently winning an AIM award for best independent album for the album More Arriving. He released a remarkable debut, “Day to Day”, on Ninja Tune in 2016, blending the forgotten music of the marginalised Sidi community with jazz and electronics.
His second studio album, More Arriving for Leaf last year, addressed Indian identity in Britain and incorporated spoken word. Meanwhile, Sarathy established a residency at the Jazz Cafe with the UPAJ Collective, leading to an acclaimed show at Church of Sound, aiming to correct the historical imbalance between jazz and Indian classical.
On this special recording for Night Dreamer, Korwar and co have brought the UPAJ fully to bear with its mission to collaborate and improvise. The nature of recording straight-to-acetate, with just a pause between each record side, was a challenge they fully embraced, entering the recording with minimal instructions. Korwar relates that they initiated the session by sitting together in a circle to perform a set of breathing exercises, now a regular part of their gig prep. This set a collective tone,
slowing heart rates, it centered the players and they felt more present, more aware of the space and each other. As such, trust, communication and ability to relate, came before the instrumentation.
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