Trilok Gurtu has recorded his share of instrumental jazz and worked with jazz heavyweights like Joe Zawinul and Pat Metheny, but you won't find any jazz whatsoever on The Beat of Love. For myopic, narrow-minded jazz snobs who believe that jazz is the only form of music that has a right to exist, the CD's lack of jazz is a problem. But for broad-minded world music enthusiasts, The Beat of Love is a fine addition to Gurtu's catalog. Produced by West Africa native Wally Badarou, this album is meant to fuse modern Indian pop with the rhythms of black Africa (as opposed to Arabic North Africa). And the two prove to be quite compatible; on The Beat of Love, African elements sound perfectly logical alongside Indian rhythms and instruments. The voices of well-known African singers like Salif Keita and Angelique Kidjo sound right at home with Indian instruments such as the sitar and tabla drums. But The Beat of Love isn't just about Indian and African elements -- Gurtu combines those things with American funk and electronica. Of course, the modern pop sounds of India and black Africa are heavily influenced by Western pop and funk, and Gurtu is well aware of that. So if The Beat of Love is a musical tour of India and black Africa, there are also stops in the United States and Europe. And, in fact, the CD was produced in four different countries -- not only India and South Africa, but also the U.S. and England. With a lot of help from Badarou, Gurtu sees to it that The Beat of Love is an unpredictable but consistently appealing celebration of multiculturalism.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson