Thursday, January 29, 2009

Prasanna - Electric Ganesha Land (Abstract Logix, 2006)

I became curious about the guitarist Prasanna after learning that he had been playing with one of my favorite musicians, pianist Vijay Iyer. I downloaded this disc and was surprised to find that it was dominated by Jimi Henrix influenced distorted guitar fusion. Prasanna is joined on this disc by musicians in Indian instruments and percussion, Haridwaramangalam A.K. Palanivel on thavil, B.S. Purushotham on kanjira, konnakol, S. Karthick on ghatam, konnakol, morsing, Prapancham Ravindran on mridangam, Papanasam Sethuraman on kanjira.The problem that I had getting into some of this music (and guitar led fusion in general) is that at its worst, there seemed to be some self indulgent wankery of over amped guitar that overwhelmed the music. But be the end of the album, he seems to have gotten this out of his system and the final four tracks of the album in particular have a subtlety that is missing from some of the earlier pieces. Utilizing the percussive textures of the supporting instruments, Prasanna is able to weave his guitar over, around and through the music to very good effect.The music that ended the CD had an interesting combination of electric guitar and Indian percussion that showed a promising avenue for further exploration. It will be interesting to see in what direction he goes with Iyer's wide optn post bop, but, I think this particular album is best enjoyed by die-hard fusion and jazz-rock guitar fans.

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