In April 2019, 22a boss and multi-instrumentalist, Tenderlonious embarked on a trip to Pakistan to work with Lahore based instrumental quartet, Jaubi. Following on from the success of the three-track limited edition 10″ vinyl release of ‘Tender in Lahore’ earlier this year, 22a presents the full LP-length suite of improvised Ragas from a one day recording session in Lahore, featuring four previously unreleased tracks.
Opening track ‘Shalah Bagh’ is inspired by the Mughal gardens in Lahore they visited. It is a fully improvised track guided by Kashif Ali Dhani on table and vocals, with Tenderlonious on soprano saxophone. Raga Chandrakauns acts as the basic framework, evolving into a free conversation between tabla and saxophone.
‘Azadi’ is the Urdu word for freedom and is a pure raga composed in the beautiful and devotional pentatonic Raga Bairagi, also based in the 12-beat rhythmic cycle (Ektaal). Like everything during these sessions, this raga was shown to Tender moments before the one take recording and what ensued was an improvised conversation between the musicians. Featuring Jaubi members Zohaib Hassan Khan on sarangi – Zohaib is a 7th generation sarangi maestro and one of only 5 professional sarangi players left in Pakistan practicing this ancient art form. Plus Jaubi guitarist and band leader Ali Riaz Baqar, providing the guitar accompaniment.
Other tracks include ‘Kirwani Part II’ is an alternate take of the original, this time featuring Tenderlonious on soprano saxophone in conversation with Kashif Ali Dhani on tabla.
Marek Marek Pedziwiatr, from EABS & Astigmatic Records, provides the synth drone back drop on all tracks.
“With each composition recorded in one take without sheet music, Ragas from Lahore is a deeply engaging and intuitive introduction to the Indian classical form, as well as a testament to its malleable potential for reinterpretations…As Cawthorne’s flute weaves between his expressive bowing, we feel the essence of spiritual jazz: traditions in dialogue, gesturing towards something greater than themselves.” – **** The Guardian (Global Album of the Month)
- Shahla Bagh
- Kirwani Part II