Galloping Goat announces a new Indian classical release by saxophone virtuosos Phil Scarff, Ragas from Dusk, Galloping Goat GGCD-4422. Phil Scarff is pioneering the performance of North Indian classical music on soprano saxophone, exquisitely capturing the subtlety and depth of this music on this Western instrument. He has beautifully molded the saxophone to Indian classical music," extols Sakal, Kolhapur, India.
In his new release, Ragas from Dusk, Phil Scarff presents bada khyal and chhota khyal in popular ragas, as well as dhun. While remaining true to the Hindustani tradition, Scarff introduces innovations informed by a decades-long career as a contemporary jazz and world-music improviser and his numerous collaborations with Indian and West African masters. In addition to Scarff's soprano saxophone, Ragas from Dusk also features tabla virtuoso Bhushan Parchure, rigorously groomed by Indian percussion legends Alla Rakha and Zakir Hussain.
The CD opens with the evocative twilight raga, Puriya, in medium tempo. Transitioning into evening, the centerpiece performance in Raga Bihag features compositions by the important historical figure Sadarang. Next is a dhun from Bismillah Khan's repertoire, which highlights the more adventurous side of Phil's approach to Hindustani music. The romantic Raga Jaijaivanti follows, featuring a composition by Pt. Shreeram Devasthali. The CD closes with Raga Bhairavi, typically used to end a performance. The opening line is Bismillah Khan's familiar gat. Phil has reset the composition from the original teentaal to the six-beat dadra cycle.
This disc was recorded while on tour in India; several tracks were recorded live in concert and several in the studio. The live tracks were recorded at the legendary Gayan Samaj Deval Club in Kolhapur and at Muktangan in Miraj. The recording of Raga Bihag was selected for broadcast on All India Radio under the auspices of the Sangeet Research Academy.
Ragas from Dusk is distributed by Super D in Woodland CA and is available at CD Baby. It's also available at iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, Napster, eMusic, Amie Street, Spotify, and Verizon.
Phil Scarff... entranced the audience... Incredible breath control... sweet, melodious... Eloquent rendition... in vilambit ektaal... Deep, soulful performance." Tarun Bharat, Kolhapur, India
Phil Scarff... weaving magic through his saxophone with Raga Puriya... soul-stirring... sonorous... Raga Bihag was refreshing and delightful. He played... with great finesse and mesmerized the audience." Deccan Herald, Bengaluru, India
Phil Scarff: a scintillating performance... His beautiful display of the intricacies of Indian classical music... thrilled the audience... touched the hearts of the listeners." Sakal, Kolhapur, India
Indian classical music on the saxophone! Phil Scarff... played different ragas with finesse... enthralled the audience... subtle and appealing." Times of India