Arun Shenoy & The Groove Project – A STAGEY BANK AFFAIR: It’s been a while since I wrote my first review of Arun’s splendid instrumental works (issue # 131), and I’m even more enchanted on this new release than I was on that first album. One part of this new release that got me excited immediately is the new video that accompanies it for the title track, “A Stagey Bank Affair”… (watch below):
As you’ll see (& hear), this short clip does a far better job of explaining the “spirit” of circus & merriment that Arun & The Groove Project evoke with their high-energy/high-talent compositions than mere “words” can express… this goes far, FAR beyond the “contemporary instrumental” framework noted in the promo sheets… this is full-blown fun, and certainly will merit new consideration by the Grammy Awards (the album I reviewed earlier was nominated for the 55th awards) (& remember to pass on to your friends that you heard it FIRST right here – this one will not only be nominated, but will WIN). Arun’s stellar guitar work is complemented by one heckuvva cast of players… Ravichandra Kulur Flute; Jeff Coff and Nick Stefanacci on Saxophone; Jonathan Anand Wesley, Ed Roth and Dave Gross doing Keyboards; Felipe Praino, Jim Kimo West and Owen Gurry on Guitar; Ian Cameron Violin; Duke Purisima Bass; Jerry Chua Drums; and Don Hart providing Orchestration. As you listen to tunes like “Speedway Rush“, featuring some astounding flute work from Ravichandra, and some wonderful orchestration, you’ll realize right away how powerful this musical extravaganza is! The high-energy vibe and total beauty created on the 4:10 “Mary Go Around“, will make you fall in love with it right away – I particularly loved the keyboard/flute duos on this tune. For some strange reason, the emotion-laden violin on “Sad Clown” evoked aural images of the Beatles “Fool On The Hill” (not quite sure why).
Of the ten excellent tracks offered up for your merriment & aural enjoyment, it is the the 4:57 “Hot Head Balloon” that got my vote for personal favorite… it most clearly illustrated (for this reviewer, anyway) what they were trying to do for the listening & viewing audience… bring to life the carnival/circus that life can (and should) be every day… in other words, Arun knows just how to use his music to inspire joy and fun! If we had more music like this rolling round the globe, no one would be interested in thoughts of war and mayhem running so rampant today. I give Arun and the Groove Project players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this totally absorbing musical adventure. “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is a 4.99. Get full information on the project, the players and Arun at his page for this fantastic album. Rotcod Zzaj