Don Giovanni Records,
RASA is a Sanskrit term for defining an artist’s essence. This project was first recorded and released in 1980 and created a fusion of music from East and West that became a much listened to and talked about undertaking. Now the project has been remastered and is again being made available, even including Jody Stecher’s original liner notes.
Stecher, who plays guitar and sings, is a well-known, long-time folk artist whose many contributions include duets with Kate Brislin, who also is part of this project. Krishna Bhatt who sings and plays the sitar, bowed dilruba, and tabula, grew up in India and spent his early years becoming a talented sitar player and became a respected performer and teacher of the instrument.
Other musicians featured on this new recording are Fred Sokolow (banjo, mandolin, vocals), Jeanie McLerie (fiddle, vocals), Kate Brislin (vocals), and Nancy Schenk (bass). The project is a mix of traditional Eastern raga songs, traditional folk tunes, and even a couple of Cajun offerings. The raga variations are “Manj Khammaj”, “Dilruba”, and “Bhatiali”, all featuring Bhatt’s excellent work on the sitar and the dilruba. Stecher’s folk songs are “The Bramble and the Rose,” “Russian Two Step,” “Blue Mountain,” and “Yellow Gal,” a blazing instrumental with flatpicking from Bhatt on the sitar. Cajun flavored tunes are “The Jelebi Song,” with McLerie, and “The Port Arthur Blues,” and there is even a Greek tune “Zembekiko: Asta Logya.” Finally, there is a medley of “Chakradhar/Don’t Get Trouble on Your Mind/Dhun.”
Stecher and Bhatt have done well by bringing this great project out again.