Jaipur Kawa Brass Band Dance of the Cobra

Jaipur Kawa Brass Band Dance of the Cobra
7
India's brass band tradition goes back 250 years, though it's seldom represented in North America as part of the pantheon of sub-continental music. The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band are the notable exception, having released their first album during the '90s and touring ever since, featuring a stop at Guelph's Hillside Festival just this year. The sound isn't unfamiliar: if you like Balkan Brass, you'll find much to latch onto. And why not? These are gypsy musicians, though directed with an ear to wide-ranging, crowd-pleasing fusion. The swagger, melodrama and ability to refer to the James Bond theme without sounding totally ridiculous are all present, bolstered by knotty drum patterns that threaten to turn songs inside out. The novel and most effective touches on this album come from different instruments. Electric guitars are more oriented with contemporary pop/classical than rock, sitar solos fade up from nowhere and even the bagpipes work well. This ensemble are meant for live performance and there's a bit of a stage band vibe to the non-stop showiness, but the album is well executed and an enjoyable listen throughout. (Riverboat)