Yatra by Pancha Lama Chautari

Music Issue 52 Jul, 2010

Pancha Lama has brought together have produced an album of lively music. This is one more fusion album, but don’t dismiss it off hand. It is different. “Morning Breeze” has a very pleasing beat that really lifts the music. Nepali musicians seem to excel in playing the flute, which is probably because this is one of the oldest instruments that have been in use in our villages. Pancha Lama’s flute is enchanting and Shanthos Bhakta Shrestha complements on israj. This is followed by a fusion, which is a ‘Yatra’, a journey into the world of innovation. The music gets heavier as the album progresses, and the third track has a dominant sound of percussions (Akira Horikoshi on drums), which then give way to vocal improvisations. An impressive solo by Nabaraj Gurung on tabla follows and the solid beat is maintained throughout. The guitar piece by Hiroyuki Minami is reminiscent of Pink Floyd and jells well with the overall sound. “Himalayan Bossa Nova” is naturally very western in sound, though the flute gives it a Nepali feel. Sae Konno, on piano then brings in a definite jazz sound, and the music takes on a different color. The music leads to a resounding bass solo by Hiroki Takeda after which we return to the original melody. “Silent Joy” is really a joy with lovely flute solos accompanied by just a drum. The minimalist approach is laudable as a lot is achieved with very little. The rich, strong vibrations of the flute helps one picture a full moon night. Just lie back, close your eyes and let the sound sink in. It’s a wonderful feeling. This is music for the senses. The spell is eventually broken when the rest of the band joins in. The album has been well produced.

CD Courtesy: East Meets West Music Box, Phone: 4256411,