Trilok Gurtu: One Thought Away

Rating: ★★

Record and Artist Details


Trilok Gurtu (tablas, d, kys, el b, Basic 1
Devik Pandit (v)
Sabine Kabongo (v)
Carlo Cantini (ky)
James Hallawell (b, ky prog)
Ferdinand Forsch (Basic 1)
Robert Miles (ky, b, sound effects, prog)




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Rec. August-October 2022

The 71-year-old master drummer- percussionist Trilok Gurtu virtually stole the show playing with the Jan Garbarek Quartet at last year's EFG London Jazz Festival. Gurtu has excelled in these kind of high-octane collaborations with other eminent figures such as John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, and Pat Metheny. He possesses effortless virtuosity and deep musicality; hypnotically intense polyrhythms are tempered by a delicately nuanced dynamic range and easy-going sensuality.

But the former outweighs the latter on his 21st album as leader, One Thought Away, that's also his first solo recording project. He plays all instruments except for a few guest participants, one being keyboardist Robert Miles, producer of the pair's 2004 collaboration MilesGurtu; he's a guest on the opening four-part ‘No Fear Suite’, a largely spooky mix of whirling beats, ambient percussion, Indian chant and tala beat-box vocal. The darkly anthemic ‘Gluten Free Song’ and 1980s-style synth pop ‘So Happy’ featuring Sabine Kabongo's lead vocal. On the plus side, Gurtu demonstrates a deft multi-instrumentalism with some pulsating work on electric bass and drums at times. But for the most part, the recording's murky blend of percussion, electronica, dance-beat orientation, and Indian pop song/chant sounds quite unappealing.

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