Artist: Tirtha (Vijay Iyer, Prasanna and Nitin Mitta) Title: Tirtha Label: ACT Music + Vision Cat.#: ACT 2011 Genre: Nu Indian Jazz (?)
Reviewed by Matthew Rentz
Tirtha is a Sanskrit word that represents a crossable shallow river or stream and a place of pilgrimage. That is exactly what the US based ensemble of the same name provides the listener on their self-titled debut album, a journey where the traveller emerges having experienced a spiritual transformation.
On April 2nd, 2011, Tirtha performed at the Asia Society in Manhattan to promote the release of their new self titled album, Tirtha. The trio consists of Indian musicians including American born pianist- composer Vijay Iyer, guitarist-composer Prasanna from South India, and classically trained tabla player Nitin Mitta, also Indian born. The performance, which was to precede an intense two-week tour of Europe, was enthusiastically received by a full house of concertgoers.
Inspired by Ornette Coleman’s Primetime, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Moroccan Gnawa music, and Stanley Turrentine, we will be playing my original compositions, featuring improvisations by some of NYC’s most creative groove players. Avram’s Electric Kool-Aid featuring: Kenny Wessel (Guitar), Dave Phelps (Guitar), Chris Eddleton (Drums), Todd Isler (Percussion), Stuart Popejoy (Electric Bass) and Avram Fefer (Saxes and Composition).