SLIP-DISC-DISHOOM’S LONDON BOMBAY GROOVES.

SLIP-DISC-DISHOOM’S LONDON BOMBAY GROOVES.

In the wake of World War II, the British government encouraged people from all over the Commonwealth and Empire to  emigrate to Britain. The War had hit Britain hard. So many people had died, that there weren’t enough people to fill shortages in the labour market.

Soon, people were making their way to Britain from all over the world. They came in search of a better, more prosperous life. Some settled, and made Britain their home. Others quickly realised that life in post-war Britain wasn’t for them. Those that remained, had families who in the sixties, became played a part of Britain’s cultural awakening.

For Britain, the sixties was a new beginning. The Beatles’ debut single Love Me So was a game-changer. Soon, Britain was enjoying a soundtrack of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who and Dusty Springfield. No longer did Britain rely upon America to provide its musical soundtrack. Instead, America was being influenced by Britain. The tables had been turned. However, they were about turn again.

As the sixties progressed, British musicians were influenced by the culture of another country, India. This was a two-way process. 

Just like other young Britain’s, the children of Indian immigrants were embracing this new, British music. Quickly, this became part of the soundtrack to their lives, alongside the music that was popular in India.

By then, British music had a huge influence on India. All of a sudden, beat bands were being formed in India. They had been influenced by successful British groups, and fashioned themselves on The Beatles,  Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who. However, there was much more to Indian music than beat music or cover bands. 

India had a rich musical heritage. Some of them were making their presence felt in the West. One of the biggest success stories was Ravi Shanhar. He quickly, became a favourite of British bands keen to explore India’s wider cultural heritage. 

As the sixties, gave way to the seventies, India had had a huge influence on British music. Groups like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones had embraced India. It wasn’t just its music, but its spiritual, philosophical and mystical side. 

Soon, a generation of British youths were enjoying a long-distance love affair with India. The more adventurous, made their way to India. Some joined the hippie trail, and headed all the way to Goa. It would become a spiritual journey for future generations. However, by then the fusion of British and Indian music was commonplace. 

It had become part of the British musical fabric. However, in the sixties, a generation of British were introduced to Indian music by their friends. Soon, they were familiar with the music of Ananda Shankar, Mohammed Rafi and Asia Bhosle. They’re three of the twelve tracks that feature on Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. It will be released by the Dishoom label on 20th November 2015. Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves features old, new and possibly, even bluesy. This music has influenced several generations, and is now regarded as part of Britain’s cultural fabric. 

Especially, Ananda Shankar. She’s one of the greatest Bengali musicians, who helped popularise the fusion of Eastern and Western music. Her 1970 eponymous debut album released by Reprise Records. Opening the album, was a cover of the Rolling Stones’ Jumpin Jack Flash. It also opens Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. It’s a familiar track, and has featured on several compilations. However, it’s always worth hearing this fusion of psychedelia, rock, jazz and and Bengali music again. The result is one of the best covers of a Rolling Stone song…ever.

Back in 1997, Ravi Harris and The Prophets covered Cissy Strut one their one and only album, Funky Sitar Man. It was released on BBE. Ravi Harris proves to be a very Funky Sitar Man, and his backing band are far from being false Prophets.

In 1968, Henry Mancini composed and conducted to the soundtrack to The Score. This was a film starring Peter Sellers, who played the part of an Indian film star. Producing The Party was Blake Edwards. He asked Henry Mancini to compose the score. The Party proves a truly joyous sounding track, that’s a reminder of when London was swinging.

Originally, The Savages were formed in the mid-sixties. By 1973, they were signed to Polydor, and released their debut album Black Scorpio. One of the highlights was their psychedelic rock cover of Born to Be Wild. Its trippy sound reinvents what’s a familiar song, and at the same time, brings a smile to your face.

The Bombay Royale weren’t around when Indian music first begn to influence British music. Instead, The Bombay Royale were formed in Melbourne, in 2011. A year later, in 2012, they released their debut album You Me Bullets Love, on Hope Street Recordings. One of its highlights was the genre-melting You Me Bullets Love. Surf guitars, braying horns and lush strings are combined with elements of cinematic pop, Bollywood and funk. 

Blossom Dearie released her tenth album That’s Just The Way I Want To Be in 1970. This was her comeback album. She hadn’t released album since 1967s Sweet Blossom Dearie. The problem was, Blossom Dearie’s “sound” had begun to sound dated. Three years later, Fontana agreed to release Blossom Dearie’s comeback album. It featured I Like London in the Rain, which she cowrote with Jim Council. With its thoughtful, almost wistful sound, it featured one of Blossom Dearie’s trademark vocals. Sadly, the song, and album sounded as if had been recorded five or six years earlier. As a result, its dates sound results in one of the weakest songs on  Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves.

Some years ago, BB Davis and The Red Orchidstra covered Get Carter. It originally featured on the Warp Factor 2 compilation, which was released in 1999. Sixteen years later, it’s dusted down and introduced to a new audience. It’s given a moody, cinematic makeover, with keyboards that reference The Doors’ Riders In The Storm. Jim Morrison and Co. are owed a debt of gratitude for inspiring  BB Davis and The Red Orchidstra on Get Carter.

It was in 1972 that the Peter Ivers Group featuring Asha Puthli covered Ain’t That Peculiar. It was released as a single on Epic, and features a funky, sassy, soulful and psychedelic sound. It’s a glorious melange of Eastern and Western influences. 

Fifty years ago, in 1965, Mohammed Rafi covered Jaan Pehchan Ho for the Gumnam soundtrack. So it’s no surprise that the song has a cinematic sound. Indeed, if Quentitn Tarantino was about make his next film in Bollywood, he would want to use this on the soundtrack.

In 1966, Hungarian jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo was signed to the prestigious Impulse label. He had released his debut album Gypys ’66 in 1965. The followup was Spellbinder, which was released in 1966. One of the highlights of Spellbinder was Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down). It was released as a single in 1966, and showcases the legendary guitarist considerable skills.

Asha Bhosle was born in 1933, Sangli, Maharastra, in 1933. Just like her sisters Lata and Usha, she became a singer. By 1972, Asha Bhosle was one of the biggest names in music and film. Eventually, she sung over 12,000 songs and appeared in around 950 films. Twelve of the songs for soundtracks feature on the 1972 compilation Top Film Hits, which was released on the Odeon label. This includes Dum Maro Dum, which is a captivating introduction to Asha Bhosle. 

Closing  Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves is Big Jim Sullivan’s cover of Sunshine Superman. Given his name, people could be forgiven for thinking Big Jim Sullivan is an old Delta bluesman. However, Uxbridge in Middlesex is a long way from the Mississippi Delta. That’’s where Big Jim Sullivan was born. Once he left school, he embarked upon a career as a session guitarist. In 1967, Big Jim Sullivan released his album Sitar Beat, which features Sunshine Superman. It’s a fusion of easy listening, lounge and Eastern influences. Back in 1967, this would described as groovy. Nowadays, it’s best described as ironic, and sounds as if it’s a reject from the Austin Powers’ soundtrack. This is a disappointing way to end  Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves.

That’s the story of Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves, which will be released by the Dishoom label on 20th November 2015. It’s an eclectic and intriguing compilation, one where disparate cultures and musical genres melt into one. 

Indian and Western music combines throughout Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. From Ananda Shankar’s cover Jumpin’ Jack Flash to Big Jim Sullivan’s ironic take on Sunshine Superman, everything from easy listening, funk, jazz, lounge, psychedelia, rock and soul can be heard. There’s also cinematic sounds from Henry Mancini and the sound of Bollywood from Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle on  Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. It features twelve tracks that were released between 1965 and 2012.

Of the twelve tracks on Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves, there’s only the occasional musical faux pax. There’s  Blossom Dearie’s dated sounding I Like London in the Rain. It sounds out of place on Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. Although Bg Jim Sullivan’s cover of Sunshine Superman. Just like I Like London in the Rain, is relevant to the compilation, its dated ironic sound makes it a strange inclusion. Just like the cover of Sunshine Superman lets the compilation down. Even  BB Davis and The Red Orchidstra’s cover of Get Carter owes a lot to The Doors’ Riders On The Storm. This means that just nine of the twelve tracks pass muster. Does this mean Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves is worth buying?

It depends. Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves is quite a niche compilation. It won’t be of interest to everyone. Having said that, there’s a market for it; albeit a small one.

For anyone interested in Indian music, Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves may be of interest to them. From a historical point of view, Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves shows how Indian music has affected disparate musical genres over the past fifty years. Indian music has also influenced several generations of musicians. Proof of this can be found on Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves

From Gabor Szabo to Big Jim Sullivan, and countless other artists, they’ve all been inspired by Indian music, and incorporated it into their music. That’s still the case today, and even occasional record buyers will have influenced this influence. For those who want to hear how Indian music has influenced and inspired musicians over the past fifty years, then Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves is reasonable primer. However, it’s not an essential purchase.

Far from it. If I was marking Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves, I would give it a B-. There are much better compilations available. Especially for the occasional compilation buyer. I would suggest that they pass on Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. It doesn’t ooze quality that would allow me to recommend  Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves. That’s why  Slip-Disc Dishoom’s London Bombay Grooves won’t find its way onto the lists of best compilations of 2015.

SLIP-DISC-DISHOOM’S LONDON BOMBAY GROOVES.

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