Deben Bhattacharya

Religious Chants From India: Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu

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An intriguing concept, this album contains a devotional chant or two from each of six or so religious sects within India. Hinduism is represented with a pair of chants from Rattan Mohan Sharma, Jainism is represented by its holiest chant, and Sikhism with a nice khyal from the Singh brothers. Islam, and more specifically Sufism, is represented by works in the qawwal vein from Abida Parveen and Shafqat Ali Khan. Buddhism has a chant, and even the rarer Bauls are represented with a work. Many of the chants include what seems like some unnecessary instrumentation, and even what might be a stray synthesizer. Some of the tracks benefit from the instrumentation, others are detracted from. Overall, the album isn't bad, and its approach is a valiant one. Musically, there is perhaps not the traditional sounds that one might be looking for in an album of Indian music, but that isn't really the point anyway.

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