Nadaka & Ganesh- Straight to Your Heart
Several of the tracks, including the first one, Gamapa could easily have been included on Shakti?s celebrated Natural Elements album, with its up-tempo tala and rapid tutti or call-and-response riffs between Nadaka on his scallop-fretted guitar and Ganesh on violin. Propelling the two instrumentalists is Vikku Vinayakram (who played with John McLaughlin’s Shakti) on ghatam (clay pot) and his son, Chella Selvaganesh on kanjira (tambourine).
Dakshina Laya is somewhat Iberian sounding with its ubiquitous flatted second-not surprising when one considers that Indian music vis a vis the gypsies, is an integral element of Flamenco. Here, Bernard Paganotti’s sparse but brawny fretless bass adds to the overall sabor (flavor in Spanish) of the piece.
The lilting title track features none other than Sixun/Joe Zawinul wonder-drummer Paco Sery on sanza (African thumb piano). Nadaka’s gorgeous sounding guitar often doubles the melismatic vocals, as they both prance around the major key-sounding raga. Ganesh’s violin extended solo is compelling; he is ostensibly an instrumentalist of noticable talent.
Unlike the other Nadaka albums reviewed here, this one?s liner notes don?t delineate what Index (track) numbers belong to each of the album’s four songs. So it’s somewhat difficult at times to tell where one is when listening. A minor point of contention.
Throughout the album Nadaka’s guitar playing is on equal par with Ganesh’s prowess on violin-which is saying much. His singing in Sanskrit is also impressive. Hopefully his peers in and aficionados of IndoFusion music will soon better recognize this multi-talented, yet relatively unknown musician/composer. Of the three impressive Nadaka’s recordings reviewed here, Straight to Your Heart is often most akin to the veracity of Shakti/Remember Shakti’s albums, and hence should be gobbled up by fans of which post haste.