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Melodic Intersect – “Looking Back”
The music of India is as diverse as the land it comes from. The country is a nation composed of twenty-eight states, each with their own dialect, culture, tradition and religion, but united by their love of music. “Looking Back”, by a highly talented combo that calls itself Melodic Intersect, is the embodiment of this love.
While many fans of Indian music are familiar with Hindustani and Carnatic classical forms Melodic Intersect takes us several steps beyond and into a relatively newer variation referred to as Indian fusion, a form that was first heard around 1955 in the United States when it was introduced to western listeners by virtuoso sarod (a fretless stringed instrument) player Ali Akbar Khan. After listening to “Looking Back” multiple times I can conclude with certainly that this young ensemble’s record would make the late Mr. Khan proud of the way they carry forth the torch he originally ignited.
This is an instrumental collection that is lyrical enough in essence to eschew the need for a vocalist. Employing the tabla and the cajón for the rhythm section, the sitar, sarangi and violin for the string section, and saxophone and keyboards filling in for well integrated textured counterpoint, Melodic Intersect weaves a richly colored and sweet-sounding tapestry of tunes during the course of the eight tracks that make up this album.
Wisely, they utilize image evoking and exotic appellations for each of their songs. “Desert Trek” is a sonorous tribute to traveling across the barren sands of far off lands. Listening to “Keys To Desire” you’ll envision the flames of lust that have immolated lovers since the beginning of time. Close your eyes as you listen to “Beloved Coast” and you’ll swear you soul’s been submerged if cool and life giving waves of water. It’s poetry in resonating motion on every aria.
This is a group I’d love to see live. Unfortunately, the link on their site listing tour dates (http://melodicintersect.com/tour-dates/), alas, is blank. I tried searching on YouTube for any footage of them and really couldn’t find anything satisfactory. Music, after all, is a performing art and Melodic Intersect has come through with fly colors in the recording studio on “Looking Back”. Can they hold their own on a spotlighted stage? That sadly remains a mystery.