Ragabop Trio – Ragabop Trio

Drummer Steve Smith, saxophonist George Brooks and guitarist Prasanna are the Ragabop Trio. Their self-titled debut recording for Abstract Logix is comprised of original songs written by its members who express their visions with a focus on groove, atmosphere and harmonic adventures.With jazz as their foundation, the highly talented trio moves through 9 great tracks with prolific and diverse rhythms, riffs and melodies.

The set opens with Prasanna’s up-tempo jazz-inspired composition titled “Tug of War.” The song defines the sound of the Raga Bop Trio with its unifying East/West blend.Prasanna’s Carnatic semi-tone slides (a feat in itself considering the ancient form is rarely played on electric guitar), George Brooks’ bluesy alto saxophone, and Smith’s approach to his drum set makes this song a real keeper. “Miss Oma” and “Love and Hunger” were written by Brooks with the former being a nod tojazz calypso, as well as to the African and Indian cultures found on the island of Trinidad.

The Euro-jazz and pattern-based modal improvisations heard on “Love and Hunger,” are a testament to Brooks’ rich alto tones and Prasanna’s dynamic accompaniment skills. Smith’s amazing talents are boldly stated on “Ironically,” where his drum solo is doubled using konnakol (south Indian rhythmic vocal syllables) while on “The Geometry of Rap,” Smith uses konnakol over a funk groove with Brooks and Prasanna providing melodic and atmospheric comping.

The first collaboration of these multi-talented musical titans is a brilliant demonstration of their creative processes and expertise in north Indian Hindustani music, south Indian Carnatic music, and the U.S.A. jazz/groove concepts. Ragabop Trio is highly recommended.

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