Beggars & Saints
Jai Uttal takes another trans-cultural leap with Beggars and Saints. Travelling again along another tributary of the North-Indian fountainhead of World Music fusion, Jai blends street smart funk with the melodies and rhythms of the sub-continent. Featuring the Pagan Love Orchestra, Beggars and Saints moves from haunting vocals to trance dance beats and seductive meditations with the Beggars and Saints is one of dotar player and chant master Jai Uttal's more spiritual albums, reaching deep into his bag of Hindustani devotional lyrics and ragas to create a music saturated in South Asian instrumentation (tabla, harmonium, dunbek) and American pop savvy. Open-minded listeners appreciative of Uttal's authentic passion for both cultures will find the winning card here. While 'Be with You' begs for smooth-jazz airplay, tunes like 'Gopala' and 'Hara Shiva Shankara' show that Uttal's serious about his Asian influences. His life was changed forever while in India, where he studied under the great sarod legend Ali Akbar Khan, and he incorporates his lessons of musical spirituality well here. Uttal's voice has a rootsy, robust tone that's gradually magnetic and tips the scales toward success--along with some infectious, relaxed jams. An interesting and pleasant experiment in South Asian-American music that offers intriguing ends. --Amazon.com Jai Uttal, a sacred music composer, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist, combines influences from India with influences from rock, folk, hip-hop and jazz creating a stimulating and exotic multi-cultural fusion that is truly world spirit music. 'Mondo Rama', Jai's latest album with his band the Pagan Love Orchestra was nominated for a 2003 Grammy award as 'Best New Age Album'.