The influence of indian music on jazz sessionville gas bubble retinal detachment


have allowed many musicians to deepen the spiritual aspect of their music. static electricity diagram For many jazz musicians the influences have been personal, at times abstract; informing their musical choices, but not always in a manner overtly apparent to the listener. For a few however, the influence is so strong, it is immediately apparent at every level of their music.

North Indian music favors simple repeated compositions that serve as vehicles for extended improvisations, while South Indian music is based on a repertoire of extended compositions called Kritis—art songs that are learned note for note. It would be impossible to have a Hindustani performance without improvisation. It is, however, possible to have a Carnatic recital where the songs are performed with little or no improvisation, though more often than not, that is not the case.

Hindustani music has always been more popular with the public because of its aesthetic appeal and association with 1960s rock culture, and the sheer number of performers who play it. Carnatic music, now growing in popularity, has always had a foothold in academia, because it is highly organized and tends to be taught in a more systematic way.

However, sitarist Ravi Shankar is almost single-handedly responsible for popularizing Indian music in the West, in part through his brilliant showmanship and ease performing for Western audiences, and in part because of his association with George Harrison of the Beatles. The Beatles included sitar (and tabla) in some of their songs, most famously the sitar melody in Norwegian Wood, played by Harrison himself, who studied with Shankar in 1966.

Needless to say, drugs and psychedelia played a part in this openness and in looking beyond the ordinary, but only in a superficial manner. This was a purely Western phenomenon of the times, a unique product of rock culture because, in reality, Indian music and drugs are polar opposites. However, Indian music has much in common with yoga and meditation, which also were becoming popular in the West during that era, as ways of expanding one’s consciousness.

From the jazz perspective it’s important to note that the extended modal improvisations of Miles Davis on his famous "Kind of Blue" recording of 1959, as well as those of saxophonist John Coltrane, composer George Russell, and others, opened up new territory in jazz. These musicians were getting away from the standard jazz repertoire of Tin Pan Alley songs, and exploring playing on the scales themselves via extended improvisations, much the way Indian musicians do.

This requires great skill, and is far more than just jamming. These modal jazz explorations began in the 1950s and continued to develop in the ’60s, overlapping perfectly with Ravi Shankar and the progressive rock groups. Groups like the Doors cited that Miles Davis was one of their influences. The famous organ and guitar solos on the album-length version of Light My Fire are based on the Dorian mode, and have much in common with Miles Davis’ So What, also based on the Dorian mode.

In my opinion, among major jazz artists most directly influenced by Indian music, the two best known are saxophonist John Coltrane, and guitarist John McLaughlin. gas or electricity for heating Two different generations—Coltrane the grand master steeped in be-bop and traditional jazz, eventually defining the avant-garde and transcending the idiom itself. McLaughlin, a jazz innovator who embraced electricity and Rock, and

Coltrane was influenced mainly by Hindustani music—he befriended Ravi Shankar, and even named his own son Ravi. Coltrane’s famous quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones—one of the most influential jazz groups of all time—explored the extended modal improvisations and time frame found in Shankar’s music.

McLaughlin’s influence has been mainly Carnatic, as is evidenced by his groundbreaking electric group The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and his later acoustic group, Shakti. This group included Carnatic violinist L. Shankar, tabla player Zakir Hussain, mridangam player R. Raghavan, and ghatam player T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram. Though Shakti also had Hindustani elements due to the presence of Zakir Hussein, the great sarodist Ali Akbar Khan expressed his view to me in 1975, that "McLaughlin’s style is more South Indian." (Ali Akbar Khan was considering performing with him at that time.)

It is important to note that many jazz musicians’ interest in Indian music was intrinsically connected to their interest in yoga and Indian spirituality. Coltrane and McLaughlin, as well as bassist/composer Charles Mingus, flutist Paul Horn, and quite a few others, are not exception. Coltrane was interested in many eastern religions, and his second wife Alice, a jazz pianist, became a senior disciple of Indian

him on his shirt as he performed during the Mahavishnu period. Mingus wanted to be cremated, and even had his ashes spread over the Ganges river—something often done by devout Hindus. Paul Horn recorded solo flute inside the Taj Mahal in India, and was one of the first teachers of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in the US. (In 2009 he performed in Radio City Music Hall, alongside Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, to raise money for the David Lynch Foundation, which teaches the TM technique to at-risk children.)

As part the social transformation happening in America during the 1960s and 70s, jazz also began searching more deeply for it’s own roots beyond the dominant Euro-American influences, and that created an interest in African music and culture, and world music in general. la gasolina in english As jazz reached back to African music, it also discovered Indian music and philosophy. These non-Western assimilations ran concurrently, and continue to this day.

There are today a growing number of musicians for whom Indian music is a part of their musical lexicon—not something exotic, but an ongoing stream from which they continuously draw. As Transcendental Meditation founder, the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said, "It’s not about East or West. Take the best of the East and the best of the West." Personally, as a practitioner of TM myself, I love this philosophy, and try to follow it.

Both Indian music and jazz have melodies based on modes, (scales or ragas), pulse-oriented rhythms, (played by drums) and improvisation, all of which have been developed to a very high level. A serious listener can be transported to great heights by such artists as Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, L. Subramaniam, and Pakistani Qwwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whose legendary voice can be heard on the soundtracks to Dead Man Walking and Natural Born Killers. The same can occur with jazz, when performed by artists like John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett, or John McLaughlin, to name just a few.

In addition to melody, both Indian music and jazz employ harmony and tonal color. 2015 electricity prices Indian music maintains a more static harmony—the color of the raga against the drone, with nuanced melodic phrases that bring out these colors. Jazz also is rich in harmony and color, but as in most Western music it is based on progressional harmony—a sequence of chords—which often change key, or tonic. The jazz soloist must relate melodically to this flow of color, much the way an Indian artist does

I like Ravi Shankar very much. When I hear his music, I want to copy it, not note for note of course, but in his spirit. What brings me closer to Ravi is the modal aspect of his art. Currently, at this particular phase I find myself in, I seem to be going through a modal phase…There’s a lot of modal music that is played everyday throughout the world. It’s particularly evident in Africa, but if you look at Spain or Scotland, India or China, you’ll discover this again in each case…. It’s this universal aspect of music that interests me and attracts me; that’s what I’m aiming for. 1

Western classical music had ceased using a variety of modes during the common practice period, and used mostly the major and minor scales from which melodies, harmonies, and form were derived. But modes were re-introduced to the West by 20th century Western classical composers such as Claude Debussy, Bela Bartók, and Igor Stravinsky. Jazz, being a 20th century music, adapted many of these modes,

Both guitarist McLaughlin and synthesist Jan Hammer, a fellow founding Mahavishnu Orchestra member, cite South Indian veena master Balachader as a major influence. (Veena is a South Indian plucked strung instrument.) You can hear this in the nuanced pitch bends of their individual playing, and in their famous guitar-synth trade-offs, exchanging blazing lines at ridiculous tempos. Along with McLaughlin, Hammer was a pioneer in this type of playing, and dramatically increased the expressive potential of the keyboard player, something very close to my heart.

As noted earlier, North Indian music is comprised of compositions that are often simple repeated phrases based on formulas that serve as vehicles for improvisation. gas city indiana weather Jazz also employs similar short compositions, usually a melody with chord changes that also serve as vehicles for improvisation. South Indian music uses extended compositions (Kritis) that are a main part of the repertoire, and jazz also has a similar repertoire of extended compositions that are played verbatim. This alone reveals a tremendous amount of common ground and conceptual unity between Indian music and jazz.

But no matter how much the composed repertoire may be performed, improvisation is an intrinsic part of both genres. This is evidenced in North Indian music in both the alap (opening free-time section without drums,) and bandish (composition section with drums), and in South Indian music by the alapana (S. Indian name for alap) and the kalpana-swaram (note improvisation) and nirnival (improvisation on the lyric) sections.

Another important way that Indian music has influenced jazz is in the use of complex and odd metered rhythms. The tala systems—both Hindustani and Carnatic—are rich in their variety of rhythms, and their almost endless capacity for permutation and development. Until the 20th century, most Western classical music was in 4/4 time (like Hindustani teental or Carnatic adi talam) or 3/4 time (similar to Hindustani dadra or Carnatic rupaka talam.)

Certain styles of modern jazz, such as fusion, have incorporated these rhythmic ideas, and musicians like guitarist McLaughlin, keyboardists Jan Hammer and Brad Meldau, and drummers Steve Smith and Trilok Gurtu are masters at this type of playing. The openness of jazz allows for the adaptation of elements from many musical traditions, and this is one area where Indian music has been greatly influential.