January 26, 2013

Red Baraat | Shruggy Ji

ARTIST: Red Baraat
TITLE: Shruggy Ji
There are brass-band traditions all over the world: in the Balkans, Africa, New Orleans and, among many other places, India. British colonials brought the brass instruments, Indians added the booming dhol drum (the instrument that gives bhangra its low-end thump); today no baraat (North Indian wedding procession) is complete without a brass band of up to 150 players. Red Baraat calls their take on the tradition “Brooklyn Bhangra” – leader and dholi Sunny Jain is an Indian-American schooled in modern jazz, and his horn players improvise jazz-style over the funky Punjabi rhythms laid down by three percussions, sousaphone, bari sax and bass trumpet (yep, plenty of bass on this one). They’re one of the most entertaining world music acts in the USA right now (Richmonders might have seen them at the Modlin Center series last year), and this third album brings the best of their live show to your speakers. If you like the current go-anywhere generation of brass bands like New Orleans’ Hot 8, Belgrade’s Boban & Marko Markovic Orkestar and Richmond’s own NO BS! Brass, this one will be right up your alley.
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