Sunday, September 20, 2015

CD Review – Moksha, by Ray Spiegel Ensemble

This is “raga rock” if I've ever heard it.

Drummer and percussionist Ray Spiegel leads an energetic and vibrant world music ensemble that includes himself additionally on dohl, manjeera, marimba, and tabla; Ira Coleman (Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Sting) on bass; Robert Levin on percussion and talking drum; Ramesh Mishra on sarangi; Melanie Richeson on harp and tanpura; Stan Scott on harmonium; Tani Tabbal on cajon and drums; Frank Velardi on drums; and Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn on bongos, congas, and djembe.

The real standout is the late Stephen James, who, in addition to playing violin, plays the sarod with the invigorating fire and fury of an electric lead guitarist.

This is an engaging sonic blend of East and West.

--Raj Manoharan

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