#13 Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars
Suhail Yusuf Khan (one third of Yorkson, Thorne and Khan), plays the Sarangi, it's a bowed stringed instrument which produces a melancholy and hauntingly beautiful sound. As the grandson of a maestro and teacher of the instrument (Ustad Sabri Khan), it often feels that Khan's understanding of the Sangari in not just part of his heritage, it's in his DNA.
Khan's Sangari and his passionate Hindi singing are key to Chori Chori, the opening number on the bands second album. But what's so inspiring about this band is the subtle ways that each member adds something new to a song. With Chori Chori James Yorkston's nimble acoustic guitar playing counterbalances Khan's vocals whilst Jon Thorne's double bass creates a subtle layer that binds the piece together, elevating.
Even more startling is Samant Saarang/Just a Bloke - which juxtaposes a traditional Indian melody from Khan with Thorne's everyman reading of Roger Eno's You're Just a Bloke, emphasizing the song's sad contemplation of loneliness.
Yorkston's knack for writing heartwrenchingly lovely songs is present throughout much of the album, most notably on the tender Bales and The Blues You Sang - a sincere tribute to his late friend and colleague Doogie Paul. The song closes with a vocal from Khan which is genuinely full of grief that it will have many listeners in tears.
The most transcendent moment on the album is the 15 minute devotional Halleluwah. The three musicians improvise and weave their sounds around each other, it builds gradually to a dizzying climax. It's an ecstatic experience.
There is a unique synergy between Yorkston, Thorne and Khan. This album is a further example of the magic that they can create.
Jason Lewis is a Birmingham based music, movie and arts obsessive. Jason's encyclopedic knowledge of 80s/90s Arts films is a debt to his embedded status in the Triangle Arts Centre trenches back then.
The Review of the Year of Things #1: Jason Lewis surveys the years' great albums and noting so many, compartmentalized, as men do. So, here, albums by those so profoundly impacted by Death