Aman Jagwani provides a tantalising taste of jazz, soul, and RnB with the help of sublime vocals from Anubha Kaul.
Like many musicians, Aman Jagwani made the most of lockdown by concentrating on his music, even if it was created in a way that was different than he was used to. Everything on his new album, This Place, was recorded and produced at his home in Goa, India which gives it a unique organic feel. Teaming up with Anubha Kaul on vocal duties and well-versed musicians of whom most performed remotely, the record is testament to what can be created from difficult situations.
Album-titled track This Place begins the record as a slow, beat-driven melody kicks in and becomes draped in an RnB flow against jazz-infused connotations. Its sultry, playful sound is a staple for the record and it’s a nice introduction to the themes of the music. Singer Anubha Kaul’s sultry and deep vocals dance around the instrumentation enticingly, knowing exactly when to take centre stage or hold back and let the musicianship do the talking.
Elastic Slumber follows with a walking bassline wrapped around Kaul’s vocal track, building into a jazz groove that’s hard to resist. The drum work here is exceptional, leading the track forward on its ever-playful journey. Not as soulful as the opener, the track allows the musicians to freely go off on tangents in a way that only jazz can do.
Even though many of the tracks are complex in musicianship, this shouldn’t put off any casual listeners as the music is still easy to listen to and enjoy. Palm Tree is testament to this, slowing things down with gentle piano intro before growing into a uniquely layered RnB stylised ballad that is once again taken to the next level by Kaul’s vocals. Rain on My Shelter and Glow both show off a penchant for rhythm and throw in subtle pop mentalities, the former airing to the side of RnB once again with some great sax work, whereas the latter provides a more ethereal sound with synthy undertones and interesting beats.
Now carries on the synthy undertones in a mesmerising and fast-paced piece that shifts from idea to idea in interesting ways, Jagwani showing off his composition skills with the band able to keep up with the complex rhythms. The record ends on the tantalising Breakthrough, this time Kaul providing more delicate vocals against electronic flows and big beats.
This Place by Aman Jagwani is a wonderfully produced and put-together album that showcases the talent in composition and dexterity that the artist possesses. Anubha Kaul effortlessly holds the album together with outstanding vocal performances, able to delve into the essence of each track and adapt her voice accordingly. With supreme instrumentation and an ability to switch from jazz to RnB to soulful flows at the drop of a hat, the record has something for everyone.