A lot has happened in the last 12 months. The TATTGOC team have continued their mission to sample the lesser-known curry houses of this fine city, we shot the breeze with some famous Glasgow curry lovers, started some brand new features, got our faces splashed across not one, but two Sunday magazines and even received a cease and desist notice from Terence Stamp. Oh, and on top of all that we also won an award. A busy year ... but you know what hasn't happened? The Tramp hasn't fired up the old jukebox, that's what hasn't happened. It's been nearly a whole year since the beast was cranked and the old boy was in a sorry state when I pulled off the dustsheet the other night. A scoosh of WD-40 here, a bit of Brasso there and it's ready for action once more. So get a G&T poured, ease on your slippers and relax into your favourite chair – this is going to be smooth. This time I'm putting on a whole album ... Curried Jazz by The Indo-British Jazz Ensemble.
It's fair to say that I may have picked up a bit of reputation as a jazz hater among some of my closest friends (particularly Rumpole Of The Balti and Naan-bread Mouskouri). Glasgow has a thriving pub jazz scene and it's true that I did storm out of The 78 one night after a noodley-hipster-jazz-overload-freakout. It's also true that I even hold off from visiting favourite local boozer The Three Judges on a Sunday afternoon so as to avoid the live jazz and associated crowds. Despite all this I think the reputation is inaccurate – my varied musical tastes have plenty of room for jazz, especially if it's curried.
Released in 1969 on the charity shop favourite Music For Pleasure label, Curried Jazz by the Indo-British Jazz Ensemble is a super chilled out slice of East meets West jazz fusion. I know very little about the history of this record, and even less about those who made it, but have managed to dig up a little bit of info:
In 1969, the imaginative indie record producer and jazz-lover Mark Sutton, who owned his own recording studio in Soho, gathered together some of the finest session jazz musicians working in London together with husband and wife [team], Dev and Sitara Kumar, to record a series of what we might today call "fusion". The result was "Curried Jazz".
Yaman (The Colonel's Lady) – The Indo-British Jazz Ensemble
The album as a whole is a great listen but the first track, Yaman (The Colonel's Lady), is the standout for me. It very nearly veers into jaunty 1960s comedy soundtrack early on with some slightly whiffy flute but pulls itself back together well to remain solid throughout – managing to sound particularly British and particularly Indian at the same time without slipping into the realms of novelty. The second track Lalit (The Meeting of the Twain) follows this up with a real 60s thriller soundtrack vibe which works just as well too. In fact, none of the four tracks that make up the album is a dud – something of a rarity I'd say.
There's no need to sum up the album myself since a reviewer on Discogs (who, judging by his writing style, might fit very well into the TATTGOC brotherhood) has already done the job for me. Having already talked about Music For Pleasure being a budget label he has this to say:
Composed by Victor Graham at the end of the 1960s, this East/West fusion sits in the pot nicely and bubbles away quite happily over the four tracks. I've mentioned budget and fusion but don't think of frozen Chicken Tikka lasagna. No, this is much more appetising and classy with great packaging. More chilled than frozen; a comforting sound aroma that caresses the ears – think Korma rather than Madras.
My thoughts exactly. Want the whole album to listen to yourself? Clicky HERE.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE TRAMP'S JUKEBOX PURI