The first time I heard this album, I was not able to fully absorb it. It was not the usual dose of Prasanna — there was very little in the way of Raga Alapanas, Konnakols, Indian Rhythm. At least to me, it was a significant departure from BTC, EGL and his other creations.
Make no mistake — there are definitely elements of Raga music — particularly in Lava and Nap Of The Earth, but almost in all tracks. There is some incredible bass work in this album, by Mike Pope and Bill Urmson. So is the saxophone work by Rudresh Mahanthappa and piano by Vijay Iyer. Mahanthappa’s sax reminded me of Jan Garbarek in his collaboration with Zakir Hussain and John McLaughlin. The drummers — Mauricio Zottarelli and Rodney Homes — have done a fabulous job — with extremely tight and gripping drumming.
Just to think that Prasanna wrote all these tracks all by himself is beyond comprehension. I felt like I was at many places — Mylapore, New Orleans, Kingston, Memphis and New York — all at once.
I add this album to my Jazzentials list and also call it Prasanna’s best ever. I read somewhere Prasanna says ATG=BTC+EGL. I submit the whole is greater than the sum of parts.
PS: My current Jazzentials include, among others, Floating Point by John McLaughlin, Conversations by L Subramaniam, Miles from India, Bombay Makossa by Ranjit Barot, Making Music by Zakir Hussain, and Samjanitha by U Shrivas