Udupa Music Festival(Live, 2018)
Over the course of 34 years as a recording artist, going back to Usfret, his 1988 debut as a leader, Indian drummer and tabla master Trilok Gurtu has always gone into the studio with a working band and a specific plan. For his 21st recording as a leader, the gifted musical maverick decided to try something completely different. Eschewing the band concept, Gurtu improvised in the studio on an array of instruments, including tablas, drums, keyboards, electric bass and the Basic 1, a revolutionary stringed-percussion hybrid created by visionary German instrument maker Ferdinand Forsch. “It’s an incredible instrument,” said the world music pioneer. “I could do a show for one hour on this instrument without anything else.”
With additional keyboard contributions from co-producer Carlo Cantini and Robert Miles, the latter who produced their 2004 electronica collaboration Miles_Gurtu, and has produced the basic tracks for the“No Fear Suite” which has been finished by Trilok Gurtu in this summer of 2022, Trilok’s latest offering, One Thought Away, is the pure, honest expression of an artist in search of the truth. “I’ve never done a solo project,” said the internationally renowned drummer-percussionist who has worked with such jazz legends as Don Cherry, Jan Garbarek, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul and Pat Metheny over his illustrious career. “But this time I wanted to avoid the hassle of calling this guy, calling that guy, organizing schedules, all while trying to make an album that’s somehow very different when the most different thing that I can do is to do everything alone myself. And I have nothing to gain or lose by doing it, I just want to do what I want.”
While Gurtu explained that some past projects he has done were primarily controlled by forces other than himself, on One Thought Away he is the sole auteur. “I’ve had managers and producers that were calling the shots in the past, even though they didn’t have a clue about music. They would tell me, ‘You want to be famous? You want to have hit? You have to do it this way because your tunes will never make it. Either you’re ahead of your time or it’s just not happening, one of the two.’ But it was very good to work with Joachim Becker and Carlo Cantini (who both co-produced Gurtu’s 2020 Jazzline release, God is a Drummer) because they were with me. We were all in the same boat on this project and it just went all very smoothly. I told them what my idea was and they said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ So in that way, I felt like I could follow my spiritual inclination for music, not managers and producers who try to tell me what will make it and what won’t.
Geneva Victoria Hall, Switzerland
Luzern KKL, Switzerland
Forum Karlin, Prague, Czech Republic