What do you call a song that crosses Funk with Smooth Jazz, while also turning traditional instrumentation on its ear?
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 02, 2014
What do you call a song that crosses Funk with Smooth Jazz, while also turning traditional instrumentation on its ear? That was the challenge facing producer and composer Arun Shenoy, internationally-acclaimed flautist Ravichandra Kulur and groove master Duke Purisima, who formed their trio, Soul’d, in early 2014. Their vision? To merge their diverse influences into a fresh and high-energy contemporary instrumental sound. As the mixes of “Soul’d” (Narked Records, 2014) evolved, the single so clearly captured their combined vision for the trio that Purisima suggested an eponymous debut.
Purisima laughed softly as he explained “We were working on several tracks, but this one really stood out as a perfect example of where we want to go with our music. ‘Soul’d’ captures what we are all about, so I suggested we take the name for our new band, too. You’ve got to feel pretty strongly about a piece to let it stand for you and your band.”
Kulur, an in-demand flautist who performed extensively with the late Pandit Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka Shankar, coaxes a whole new sound out of his Indian classical flute, which takes the place of the saxophone or trumpet leads normally heard in Smooth Jazz. Another favourite of Shenoy’s, GRAMMY®- nominated arranger Don Hart, teamed up with the trio, recording the live horn orchestration for “Soul’d” in Nashville. Listening to final mixes inspired the stylistic term Bansuri Funk, referring to the trio’s innovative jazz/funk approach and the traditional Indian bamboo flute, the Bansuri.
Shenoy comments “This new take on things was something I envisioned after working with Ravi on ‘Bliss’. I was instantly taken by the clarity of his playing style, and high-paced fingering techniques, for which he is quite well known by music-lovers and critics alike. I wondered how it would sound to explore all of that in a more East-meets-West jazz funk fusion, and so we went for it.”
Their efforts have been well received. In an early review, Stephen Smoliar of Examiner.com writes “There is a strong element of funk in their tune; but what raises this modest recording above the ordinary is the thoroughly impressive flute work from Kulur, whose intonation goes boldly beyond the confines of the traditional Western equal-tempered chromatic scale.”
The names Shenoy, Purisima and Kulur may ring a bell among World Fusion fans, as the three artists collaborated on Shenoy’s “Bliss”, an Indian World Fusion single that was launched by the Recording Academy via a worldwide “Exclusive First Look” feature at GRAMMY.com in 2013. While Purisima has worked with Shenoy before on the latter’s projects, Kulur and Shenoy met more recently when discovering online that they both hailed from the same district along India’s Western coast.
Art director Roshni Mohapatra lends her unique creative vision for the project’s packaging and visual aspect of the music, which has been brought to life by Rich Lock at Devolution Designs in the UK.
Radio promotion is being handled by Gorov Music Marketing; the week of August 25th, “Soul’d” debuted on the "Most Added" Lists of Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart as tracked by Nielsen BDS, SmoothJazz.com and also the Groove Jazz Music Chart.
“Soulʼd” officially releases on September 5th via Narked Records, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon at: http://amzn.com/B00MH26N50
For media review copies or interviews, please contact Jim Eigo of Jazz Promo Services at jim(at)jazzpromoservices.com.
About the Artists
ARUN SHENOY is a Singapore based songwriter and record producer whose production style spans genres as wide as rock and funk, to jazz and world music. Shenoy writes and produces music released as solo productions under his own name, as well as for other bands and solo artists. His last album, Rumbadoodle, was nominated in 2012 for a GRAMMY® at the 55th Annual GRAMMY® Awards. A follow up single -- “Bliss” -- from his Indian World Fusion project, was launched by the Recording Academy via a worldwide “Exclusive First Look” at GRAMMY.com in 2013 and went on to receive extensive airplay on stations nationwide charting on 15 CMJ New World charts. http://www.arunshenoy.com
RAVICHANDRA KULUR is an internationally acclaimed flautist from India. Regarded as a flute maestro by the late world music legend Pandit Ravi Shankar, Kulur has performed extensively around the globe at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall in New York and the Disney Hall in Los Angeles to the Sydney Opera house in Australia and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. He has also performed at a host of international music festivals including WOMAD in UK, Paleo in Switzerland, Roskilde in Denmark, Sfinks in Belgium and the San Francisco Jazz Festival, among others. With his world music background, a career spanning over 1200 international concerts in 30 countries, and having shared the stage with legends like Ian Anderson & Jethro Tull, Kulur brings a unique perspective and sound to this project. http://www.fluteravi.com
DUKE PURISIMA is a bass player and performing artist with over 30 years of experience, and primary songwriter/co-producer for the trio Soul’d, which includes Arun Shenoy and Ravichandra Kulur. Purisima’s versatility and freestyle bass playing across genres has been lauded by critics, but it’s his signature “groove” -- based on his love for Soul and Funk music -- that captured attention as an integral part of Shenoy’s Grammy-nominated album Rumbadoodle, and his latest single “Bliss.” http://www.dukepurisima.com