Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CD Review: Jai Uttal's 'Queen of Hearts'

Queen of Hearts
World music and kirtan pioneer, Jai Uttal, produces yet another highly-rated album in a long line of albums over the years. Though, this release, number eleven, brings reggae, ska, and Latin rhythms to the mix—all rarely heard in the world of kirtan. As an innovator, Jai brings together an amazing selection of melodies, rhythms, and tones that do not fail. The Sanskrit lyrics, back-up vocals, and guitar solos are very interesting. All eight tracks were written and produced by Jai and his long-time collaborator, Ben Leinbach. The characteristic call-and-responses are still here, which are a major focus of many recordings in the kirtan genre. The somewhat jazzy or funk overtones are also evident on “He Natha Narayana.” Anyone with an interest in kirtan, yoga music, new age music, and Jai Uttal should find Queen of Hearts endearing, timeless, and a mainstay on any kirtan music charts. ~ Matthew Forss

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