Jaya Lakshmi is one of the great voices in contemporary world fusion music. With her band, Lost at Last, she had matured into an enchanting live performer, and now on JEWEL OF HARI, her second solo album, she performs traditional chants and original music with passion and devotion that will resonate with all listeners. Producer Steve Gordon provides club-friendly beats with a minimum of samples and drum programming. A warm, human element is apparent in every track, with percussion and bass predominately handled by shakers, bells, and the double-headed mridanga drum commonly used in Carnatic music. Lakshmi's divine musical vision requires a wealth of musicians playing a wide array of traditional Indian instruments. The sarod, tabla, and harmonium add an authentic flavor to tracks like the traditional devotional chants "Ramachandra" and "Radhe Pranam." Her original songs, like "By Your Grace" and "Govinda Hari," are all beautiful, modern tracks that fit in seamlessly with her concept of Asian-lounge fusion. Her lush, hypnotic vocals are comparable to the best work of Enya or Sarah McLachlan. Fans of those artists who are open to new talents, would do well to seek out this recording.
Jewel of Hari Review