It was a little over 13 years ago that Munich-born keyboardist Uli Geissendoerfer and New York saxophonist Premik Russell Tubbs met at an informal jam session in Manhattan. The chemistry between the two musicians was immediate and profound.
Cameroonian singer Gino Sitson was one of the early participants at those casual jams as were Beat Kaestli , Steve Sandberg and Ljova. At some point, the notion of documenting their unique one-world sound was proposed, adding percussionists Mathias Kunzli and Todd Isler, along with bassist Nathan Peck, a frequent traveler to the Balkans, and tabla player Dibyarka Chatterjee. And so on February 20, 2007, they all congregated at Gigantic Studios in downtown Manhattan to see what might happen.
You can hear that kind of indelible chemistry on these eight dynamic tracks by these kindred spirits collectively known as Bangalore Breakdown. Forgoing the traps set in favor of a mix of hand percussion -- Matthias Kunzli on djembe, Dibyarka Chatterjee on tablas and Todd Isler on frame drum -- instantly opened up the proceedings, allowing for more nuance and finesse on the part of all the players involved. Which brings us to the question of what to call this music. Is it world music? Is it jazz? Is it some kind of new uncategorizable fusion that hasn't yet been labeled? Whatever you call the music, it is undeniably heartfelt expression coming from a very genuine place.