‘Spillin’ The Beans – Hmayra by Shubh Saran

A while ago, ‘Spillin’ The Beans reviewed a track by Shubh Saran called “It Was You” from his forthcoming album, “Hmayra“. Now, I have the opportunity to review the whole album.


The press release says that “Shubh’s new album, Hmayra, is a melting pot of contemporary jazz, Indian music, neo-soul, and fusion that combines the spontaneity of live music with the finesse of post production. The compositions blend intricate harmony and rhythm presented in a groove oriented and digestible way. The album opens with “The Profane”, an ominous, percussion-heavy intro. As the album progresses, the songs become brighter and melody-driven concluding with “Ascent“, which makes it all sound pretty tasty to someone who likes a bit of jazz fusion.

So, is it as tasty as the blurb makes it sound? Well, yes, so long as you are a fan of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and other fusion acts. If not, it might not be the album for you, but, even so I urge you to listen, because there is much pleasure to be found in this music. Soundwise, this is clean and uncluttered music, and the playing is a joy. There are some very accomplished musicians at work here, I especially like the horns on “Blank Stare“, a track that builds in intensity as it goes along. Terrific stuff.

I always listen to these albums before finding out anything about the musicians, apart from what is in the press release. That way I come to the music with no preconceptions. To be honest, if I was hearing this without knowing who it was by, I’d definitely be thinking of names like John McLaughlin. Some of the guitar playing is sublime here. I recommend the longest track on the album, “Haze“, it really has some gorgeous delicate guitar, as well as more of fantastic horns. Another track I really liked a lot was “The Imposter“, the piano on this really pushes the track along.

The album is available to hear on Spotify, but I really think that it needs to be heard on a decent hi fi.

Shubh’s website is here, and he also has a channel on YouTube.

Earworms 10 July 2017

A very juicy bunch of worms for you this week, if the photo hasn’t put you off your lunch. If you have an earworm you’d like to share, please send a link or an .mp3 to earworm@tincanland.com and I will try and include it in a future Earworms post. Many thanks to all contributors.

Oana Catalina Chitu: Trenule masina mica / Oana Catalina Chitu: Aseara ti-am luat basma – abahachi: Back in my favourite Zig Zag Jazz Cafe for an evening of Balkan music: Moldavian cymbalon player, Serbian accordion player and this Romanian singer, projecting an “I’ll eat you alive” attitude and some magnificent vocals, with a mixture of Romanian tangos, traditional Roma songs and the repertoire of inter-war Bucharest diva Maria Tănase. Personally I preferred the stripped-down instrumentation of the concert to the recorded versions, which chuck in a load of violin and sax, but this is magnificent stuff, variously reminiscent of Weimar cabaret and Lisbon Fado among other things…

Eli and the Manhattans – My Big Dream – severin: And yet more doo wop. I think it’s another winner but you can decide. This kind of music is a much needed antidote to world and UK events right now. This is from 1958 so maybe I heard it in my cradle when I was nought.

Fats Domino – The Fat Man – tincanman: Say, does this piano make my wallet look fat? Possibly the first rock and roll record to sell over a million records.

Les McCann – Burnin’ Coal – Ravi Raman: more of piano jazz and from an aptly named compilation album, “Smokin’ Soul Picnic”. Terrific stuff.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Flow With It – glassarfemptee: Paul Janeway has the perfect pipes for bluesy, jazzy white soul – think, perhaps, Average White Band. St Paul and the Broken Bones are appearing on this side of the pond in July 2017, and this track is off their 2016 album, ‘Sea of noise’.

Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_nomadsoul1′>nomadsoul1 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>