Tasa Urban Turban

Urban Turban is the newest release from Tasa, one of the fixtures on the Toronto world music scene. Though some of their other projects have drawn from other musical traditions, this one returns solidly to their Indian jazz roots and is the better for it. The music is always shifting textures, changing moods and promises never to bore. One of the strongest tracks, "Zamanac,” grows out of a solid, funky groove and is a full bodied, infectiously moving thing with wailing solos by sax player Ernie Tollar. To complete the image of the title, "Tani” starts off with street sounds then moves into a fabulous interplay between Ravi Naimpally on tabla and Allan Hetherington on drums. Any band that has a multi-ethnic makeup usually ends up touting their music as the first step in saving the world, creating peace between cultures. Tasa make some allusions towards the multicultural nature of their music but in general, it’s refreshing to find a band that isn’t wrapped up in broad abstractions but rather just likes the music and does it for its own sake. (Independent)