Sarathy Korwar: Kalak review – skillful musical storytelling | Jazz
On his last album, 2019 More arrivalthe American-born, Indian-raised drummer and producer Sarathy Korwar showed great talent for thoughtful and engaging musical storytelling. Kalak is the London-based artist’s fourth album as a bandleader, and finds it less searing, more meditative than on its predecessor – but still just as vital.
Examining the double meaning of the Hindi and Urdu word “kal” (which is both “yesterday” and “tomorrow”), Kalak unfolds with questions such as: who needs to be reminded; how to do more than just survive in the present; how to dream about the future? In the hands of a lesser artist, the concept might border on the didactic or the sickening (and certainly, the spoken word elements on the opening A Recipe to Cure Historical Amnesia seem skippable on repeated listening), but the compositions of Korwar here are irresistible.
Filtered through electronic artist Photay’s atmospheric output, there’s undulating flute patterns that gleam in and out of tune, sax moans, synth waves and of course the alluring, in-tune urgency. loop Korwar’s percussion, keeping time while pushing beyond its limits on tracks like That Clocks Don’t Tell But Make Time. A skillful and warm album that anchors the listener while inspiring them to think bigger.