What I’m Listening to Wednesday – Jonas Hellborg ‘Jazz Raj’

Jazz Raj

Back in December when I highlighted my favorite bass players, the first bassist I listed was Jonas Hellborg. And while I said ‘no order’, Hellborg was the first one who came to mind – he is a monster talent who never fails to surprise.

This week’s JAM is Jonas Hellborg ‘Jazz Raj’

Here is the press info:

The Jazz Raj is a Jonas Hellborg trio recording continuing his collaboration with guitarist Mattias ‘IA’ Eklundh and introducing drummer Ranjit Barot. The music is seamlessly bonding Western and Indian improvised music while avoiding the stylistic cliches that are so often the pitfalls of this type of music. The Jazz Raj continues the tradition of the bass/drums/guitar trios that Hellborg has been fronting for more than 2 decades featuring wonderful musicians such as Shawn Lane, Buckethead, Michael Shrieve and Jeff Sipe. The tracks on the record are two half hour extended compositions with sections interrelated thematically using western interpretation of Indian Ragas. It is a genre defying work, it is Jazz Metal and Indian music but primarily music for the pleasure of listening.

The interesting thing about this recording is how seamlessly it blends east and west – the songs are western interpretations of Indian Ragas. So you can hear the eastern structures underlying the music, but on top you get the ‘art metal’ of a genre-defying power trio.

Ranjit Barot is at once explosive and subtle, and a great composer whose 2011 album Bada Boom I loved, and is new to the trio. Guitarist Mattias “IA” Eklundh was part of Hellborg trio before, and played on the Art Metal collective Hellborg is also part of. Eklundh is equally adept at playing fusion, metal, rock, and pretty much anything where a driving guitar is required.

Together the trio brings back elements of the classic Lane-Hellborg-Sipe trio, but with a decidedly eastern flair. While you will never mistake this music for TRUE Indian Ragas, what we get is powerful, expansive, exploratory and just a total blast.

The albums are available on Bardo Records for $15.00and Amazon for $15.98.

Here is a promo video:

So … what is YOUR jam this Wednesday?

2 thoughts on “What I’m Listening to Wednesday – Jonas Hellborg ‘Jazz Raj’

  1. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Civil Wars lately, they are one of my favorite non-country bands, the harmony of their voices is truly spectacular (IMO.) I could listen to Poison & Wine over and over again and never get sick of it.

    • It is funny – I associate Civil Wars with country as much as folk. It isn’t really my genre, but I always have an appreciation for anyone who can actually perform well in their craft, and seeing the Civil Wars at award shows i know they put on great performances 🙂

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