Groove for Shiva

Music Issue 51 Jul, 2010

Few people in Kathmandu listened to jazz before the arrival of Cadenza.Little by little, this band has won over fans from all walks of life, and today enjoys a considerable following among locals and expatriates alike. It can be said that Cadenza brought jazz to Nepal in the true sense of the word. By organizing the annual Jazzmandu festival, they have also brought international jazz to the country. The exposure has inspired many young musicians to follow in their footsteps.

One of Nepal’s most revered deities is Lord Shiva, and Pashupatinath, a shrine dedicated to him is considered one of the holiest Hindu shrines. ‘Cadenza Collective’ has dedicated this album to Shiva. The album as Navin Chettri (band leader & drummer) points out, has danceable tracks infused with Latin beats. A good part of the album was written (by Navin and Pravin Chettri) around the time of the Shivaratri festival, which actually gave rise to the name, “Groove for Shiva”. Navin likes to call it Nep Jazz, with all the influences they have incorporated in their music: Indian Classical, Afro, Latin and funk, which give the music a unique sound.

Manose Singh excels in the opening track. He is one of the most successful Nepali musicians playing in the western world. Peter ‘Mctwister’ Kroutil lends weight with his superb sax playing, while Mort Ostensen brings his individuality with his own style on guitar. Pravin plays bass and trumpet, but prefers the latter instrument and Samir Chettri takes charge of the bass. Navin’s occasional vocal contributions add color, be it in the Indian Classical style or Nepali folk. Navin is the drummer and backbone of the band in every way. His “Nachana Jhilke Nachana” is a clever piece of improvisation. This album may not be as inspired as their previous one entitled “Live at Patan”, but nonetheless speaks of high musical standards. It’s no wonder the great Sting, after his visit to Nepal, was all praise for the band in his article for Men’s Journal, “Walking on the Moon”. “Groove for Shiva” is a well-produced album with a whole lot of groovin’ packed into it.