Review Summary: Globetrotting jazz fusion
Allegedly, much of Day to Day
employs field recordings of the Sidi Troupe of Ratanpur’s, ahem, day-to-day musical surrender. US-born, India-raised producer and percussionist Sarathy Korwar employs a love for jazz and Indian folk music, creating an album with esoteric charm, but multidimensional, modern productional tactics. He reworks the Troupe’s traditional, repetitive meditations with polyrhythmic flair, occasionally dipping into psychedelic jams while he switches between drum set and tabla. It’s still too stable to earn a “free jazz” designation, but Korwar’s music is highly expressive and unpredictable, while still maintaining an aura of utter inner peace. Even in “Karam”, one of the most uneventful tracks present, the expressive performance holds dominion over the notes played, while the vocals seem to shout into the wind, with similar motives as someone touching the sky while atop a mountain: because they can.
Associating various levels of energy with expressive tones is Day to Day
’s bread and butter. In “Bhajan”, the percussion seems restrained, eager to blow past the song’s natural cadence, but often subdued by the harmonics and honey-sweet guitar; the song is stuck in a state of hovering an inch above its chair. Elsewhere, “Indefinite Leave to Remain” is more disciplined, as the song could be divided into two acts by the beautiful, gradual crescendos, which never never relinquish their tonal calmness despite growing more chaotic by the second. “Bismillah” is another example of mixing deliberation with full release, as the song settles into a remarkable, slowly-evolving jam, featuring Indian mantra, untethered saxophone, keyboard, and an insatiable groove. Korwar’s drumming is often a highlight, especially on “Hail”; his energy is engagingly arched throughout the track without overpowering the singer’s utterly passionate wail. It’s hard to believe much of Day to Day
’s source material being delivered on impulse.
Conceptually, Day to Day
is pretty modest. Like the adorning cover art , it feels like a collection, with various textures and patterns, all sewn together pragmatically and, somehow, fittingly. In its best moments, Day to Day
basks in routine humdrum, making it a bit more magical. Korwar compares his album to Sidi handmade quilts, “The Sidi women make these amazing collages of colour using everyday rags […] that’s how I see this album.
” It feels wrong to dress it up in anything else.