Monday, May 14, 2018

Indo British Ensemble - 1969 - Curried Jazz

Indo British Ensemble
Curried Jazz

01. Yaman (The Colonel's Lady) - 4:47
02. Lalit (Meeting Of The Twain) - 8:32
03. Bhimpalazi (Looking Eastward To The Blues) - 9:47
04. Pahari (University Raga) - 8:07

Dev Kumar - sitar
Chris Karan - tabla
Ray Swinfield - flute
Kenny Wheeler - fluglehorn (1,2)
Leon Calvert - fluglehorn (3,4)
Jeff Clyne - bass
Bill Eyden - drums (1,2)
Art Morgan - drums (3,4)

Composed, arranged and conducted by Victor Graham
Produced by Ken Barnes and Michael Hall
MFP Records 1969

In 1969, the imaginative indie record producer, and jazz-lover, Mark Sutton, who owned his own recording studio in Soho, gathered together some of the finest session jazz musicians working in London together with husband and wife, Dev and Sitara Kumar to record a series of what we might today call "fusion". The result was "Curried Jazz". The producer for the sessions was Ken Barnes and his notes together with a an extract of an interview with noted Sitarist (and father of Norah Jones) Ravi Shankar and the arranger on this session Victor Graham are included in the notes. The original release was unleashed on a n unsuspecting jazz world that didn't quite know what to make of it. 

Indie record producer Mark Sutton brought together a group of fine British session jazz musicians in 1969, and with husband and wife instrumentalists Dev and Sitara Kumar came up with this early "fusion" album. By the time I came across it around 6 years later my jazz friends had "moved" on. Kenny Wheeler(flugelhorn) on this album and Jeff Clyne(bass) had both joined Nucleus which was among the leading new sounds. Bill Eyden, the drummer on the two tracks on which they play had been with the Jazz Couriers in the late 50's. He did a spell with Georgie Fame and was a member of Stan Tracey's trio - the "house band" at Ronnie Scott's in the late 60's. Ray Swinfield - a fine Australian flautist who I suspect was just about settling in the U.K. around that time - has a fine cd available on Amazon entitled "Reprise" on which he teams up with British stalwarts John Pearce, Dave Green and Allan Ganley amongst others. I recently came across my copy of this LP when updating my catalogue. It still sounds exotic, rhythmic, a beautifully married blend of musical skills and styles. It will be sometime before it gets tucked away un-played again.