Sandy Evans and friends (Indian and Australian) – ‘Cosmic Waves’
Broadcast on ‘The Daily Planet’, ABC Radio. Sunday 20 May 2012 9:05
Definitely not at the shallow end of ‘Indo-jazz fusion’ Cosmic Waves is a lovely, uncommonly creative cross-cultural encounter.
Its Australian leader is a great jazz saxophonist who lives in a beach suburb of Sydney.
The ocean has often inspired her; in this context it ‘became a metaphor for the flow of ideas between jazz and Carnatic music’, two musics ‘so deep, it takes a lot of commitment to speak interculturally.’
Her primary collaborators are Sruthi Laya: four south Indian virtuosi, led by Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani. A great hand drummer who plays the mridangam, he is also an internationally renowned music educator and musical adventurer.
This project is the fruit of years of mutual interest, study, friendship and travels: Sandy is no newcomer to India, nor Mani to Australia.
The other members of Sruthi Laya are electric mandolinist U.P. Raju, ghatam (claypot hand drum) player V. Suresh and B.V. Balasai on bamboo flutes.
There are occasional contributions from Australian guests: pianist Alister Spence, bassist Brett Hirst, a sousaphone-wielding James Greening, and computer-manipulated drones provided by Roger Dean.