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A ‘hybrid’ single gets impressive instrumental treatment

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“Soul’d” is the name of both a new single that will be released one week from today (and already has its Web page set up on Amazon.com) and the featured trio of performers. That trio consists of Arun Shenoy on guitars, Ravichandra Kulur on Bansuri, the traditional Indian bamboo flute, and Duke Purisma on bass. There is a strong element of funk in their tune; but what raises this modest recording above the ordinary is the thoroughly impressive flute work from Kulur, whose intonation goes boldly beyond the confines of the traditional Western equal-tempered chromatic scale. Admittedly, this is a studio product that involves multiple tracks of Kulur, along with backup from two additional guitars (Felipe Praino and Owen Gurry) and Jerry Chua on drums, along with a horn section of Steve Patrick on trumpet, Jeff Coffin on saxophone, and Barry Green on trombone. Nevertheless, whatever skillful engineering may have gone into making this recording, there is an uninhibited rhetoric that gets beyond the all-too-routine nature of funk beats that are only there for dancing and moves into the wilder domain of jazz improvisation. This may be a modest package, but it delivers a memorable punch.

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