Sarathy Korwar & Upaj Collective — Night Dreamer Direct​~​to~​Disc Sessions (Nov. 27, 2020)

INDIA flag                                        Sarathy Korwar & Upaj Collective — Night Dreamer Direct​~​to~​Disc Sessions (Nov. 27, 2020)  Sarathy Korwar & Upaj Collective — Night Dreamer Direct​~​to~​Disc Sessions (Nov. 27, 2020)★⊕★ Sarathy Korwar: PPL Momentum Award Winner
★⊕★ Při svém debutu Night Dreamer získávají Sarathy Korwar a jeho allstar „UPAJ Collective“ zcela novou pozici ve své misi vyvážení duchovního jazzu s autentickou indickou klasickou hudbou. „UPAJ“ znamená „improvizovat“ v Hindi lenguidž a nahrávání přímo na disk v Artone Studios téměř bez předpojatých směrů, skutečně zachycují „ducha spontánní improvizace“, jak říká Sarathy: Ano, jako nikdy předtím.
★⊕★ „Svým způsobem šlo o vytvoření utopické vize světa, ve kterém bych chtěl žít. Mikrokosmos ideálů, podle kterých bych chtěl žít, v nahrávacím studiu,“ vysvětluje Korwar.Sarathy Korwar ©Rishabah Sood
Location: Chennai and Ahmedabad in India ~ London, UK
Album release: November 27, 2020
Record Label: Night Dreamer
Duration:     53:41
1. So said Said   12:23 
2. Flight IC 408   10:35
3. Elephant Hangover    4:54
4. Intimate Enemy   15:17
5. So said Said — Yoruba Soul Mix   10:32
Sarathy Korwar — Drums
Tamar Osborn — Saxophone, baritone
Achuthan Sripathamanathan — Violin
Giuliano Modarelli — Guitar
Alistair MacSween — Keyboards
Recorded Direct​~​to~​Disc Sessions at Artone Studio, Haarlem, The Netherlands on Saturday 6th July 2019.
Performed & Produced: Sarathy Korwar & Upaj Collective
★⊕★ “Recording in one take, Direct​~​to~​Disc is a unique scenario to be in. I feel very blessed to be presented this opportunity. I decided very early on that in order to make the best use of this scenario, the music had to be completely improvised and spontaneous. That is the only true way to record within the limitations of one take. No regrets, no mistakes, no fear and no judgement. These were the ideals. In a way, this was about creating a utopian vision of a world I would like to live in. A microcosm of the ideals that I would like to live by, in the recording studio. The vision of going into the studio with this in mind, was more important than the resulting music we created. Process over product.
★⊕★ Before the session we did some collective breathing exercises that I have learnt from my mother (who is a pranayama practitioner/teacher) and Wim Hof. I believe this helps centre the focus of the group and balances the mind, making it most receptive to new sounds and inspiration.
★⊕★ The song So said Said is a tribute to Edward Said. Intimate Enemy, a tip of the hat to the book of the same name by Ashis Nandy (Intimate Enemy: Loss and recovery of self under colonialism). A cover of Flight IC408 by State Of Bengal is on Side B, as I am a massive fan of the band. Elephant Hangover is the imagery that the tune conjures for me personally on listening to it. A beautiful remix by the brilliant Osunlade of So said Said is on side D.
★⊕★ Thank you to the gifted musicians — Al, Tamar, Achuthan and Giuliano for trusting and letting go. I am lucky to spend time with you.”
By CHRIS MAY ⌊November 12, 2020⌋ Score: ★★★★ 
★⊕★ In her October 2020 interview with All About Jazz, baritone saxophonist, Collocutor bandleader, Afrobeat shaman and Upaj Collective founder member Tamar Osborn was asked to name six of her all~time favourite albums. One of them was Shakti’s Natural Elements (Columbia, 1970), on which John McLaughlin plays a guitar customised to sound like a sitar. “To me, it’s still one of the best meetings of two traditions you can listen to,” said Osborn. “You can hear the mutual respect, the communication and the joy of playing together.”
★⊕★ Those same qualities run through drummer and tabla player Sarathy Korwar and Upaj Collective’s Night Dreamer Direct~To~Disc Sessions. It is Korwar’s second album with Upaj — the first being the modern day Indo-Jazz classic My East Is Your West (Gearbox, 2018). The new album is another adventurous transcultural hybrid, its two main strands once more being spiritual jazz and Indian classical music. 
My East Is Your West was recorded by an eleven~piece, Direct~To~Disc Sessions by a quintet. There are three returnees from the larger lineup: Osborn, guitarist Giuliano Modarelli and keyboardist Alistair MacSween. The new member is violinist Achuthan Sripadmanathan. The crucial difference between the two albums, however, is the nature of the music making itself. In Hindi, upaj means “to improvise.” My East Is Your West took as its jumping~off points carefully crafted arrangements of well~known spiritual jazz and Indo Jazz tunes by Amancio D’Silva , John McLaughlin, Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, Ravi Shankar and Joe Henderson. On Night Dreamer, on the other hand, the group approached the material with more skeletal road maps, trusting instead on in~the~moment interaction. They pull it off with style.
★⊕★ The fifth and final track sounds like a remix, so whether it is really live and direct~to~disc is unclear. It is, however, groovalicious. And so, too, is the rest of the album. Another stone delight from Upaj Collective.