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On Monkey, young Jai Uttal continued to fuse Indian spiritual music and American pop with generally pleasing results. Once again, he demonstrates his mastery of acoustic Indian instruments like the harmonium and the dotar while using electronic synthesizers in a very human and soulful fashion. Though some of the material bears some resemblance to secular Indian pop of the '90s, which also unites synthesizers and traditional instruments, Uttal's overall approach is far from secular. While Uttal's own songs (both instrumental and with vocals) are dominant, "Govinda" is a moving version of the time-honored Hindu prayer. Jazz improviser Peter Apfelbaum is heard on both tenor sax and drums, and a fair amount of jazz influence asserts itself on "The Hooded Serpent" and the title song.
Kirtan is the calling, the crying, the reaching across infinite space – and digging into the heart's deepest well - to touch and be touched by the Divine Presence.On "Kirtan - The Art and Practice of Ecstatic Chant", world music pioneer Jai Uttal guides us through the profoundly transformative practice of Kirtan singing the many names of God and Goddess - the heart of devotional, or "Bhakti" Yoga. Kirtan is one of the gifts given to us by the yogis and seers of ancient India, a key to unlock the vast mystery world within our hearts. By chanting these Sanskrit mantras and melodies without inhibition or self-judgment, we effortlessly enter a space of deep emotional release, inner connectedness and surrender. There are no beginners or experts in this practice. Kirtan is simply prayer, and with the power of our own voices and emotions we create a bridge that spans the vast ocean of consciousness and infinite love.
Love can take many forms—the physical, the emotional, the spiritual among them. Each can stand alone in a beautiful way, but when the myriad types of love entwine, truly revelatory things can occur—as they do throughout Thunder Love, the long-awaited new album by world music voyager Jai Uttal.
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