JONAS HELLBORG / ART METAL, THE JAZZ RAJ
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 2 half hour extended compostions with sections inter-related 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.
A R T M E T A L
Jonas Hellborg - Bass
Mattias IA Eklundh - Guitar
Ranjit Barot - Drums
The Swami on Park Street 33:15
Bacchic Frenzy 31:31
JONAS HELLBORG, THE SILENT LIFE/SOLO BASS 1990
THE SILENT LIFE is a solo bass album recorded by Jonas Hellborg 1990 at Greenpoint Studios, the recording studio he co-owned with Bill Laswell at the time.
Hellborg spent 2 years prior to recording this album playing and getting attuned to an acoustic Bass Guitar crafted by master luthier Abraham Wechter. This instrument, the Roman Bass, was not only used on this landmark recording but also featured on Hellborgs collaboration with Tony Williams called "The Word" and Ginger Bakers Middle Passage (both recorded the same year).
The re-release of this Album is prompted by the discovery of unused takes of certain pieces and the sheer quality of sound on the original recordings (before processing).
What you get here is the naked truth, Jonas Hellborg, the Wechter Roman Bass, two Mics (a Neumann U47 and an AKG 414) straight to tape.
S O L O B A S S 1 9 9 0
Jonas Hellborg - Acoustic Bass Guitar
1 You Have to Die to Live 0:59
I wrote the text below for the original release of this record. After 14 years it seems an even more accurate reflection on the world we live in. The music was recorded with Michael Shrieve, one of the truly legendary drummers of the world, and at the time relatively unknown guitarist Buckethead, who has since become one of the most important voices in the electric guitar community.
When looking over the tapes of these sessions I discovered tracks that I did not use the first time around. So there are no extra songs on this reissue, but a fundamental reworking of all the compositions of the first release. Some new light on this music that I did with two of my absolute favorite musicians.
"In a World of premeditated mass murder by governments, of rampant pedophilia, of values turned inside out by media tycoons in order to make money, of torture and unchecked genocide. Who is innocent? Who will protect the innocents? And who will stand up and face the grotesque explanations of why a 10-year-old girl walking to buy bread is shot in the back by a soldier, why parents molest their own children. How can a soldier who is somebody's brother rape.
Why can people be annihilated in the name of God the merciful.
Is it a consequence of these peoples evil? Are they aware that they are evil? Is their evil maybe only somebody's perception? Are they maybe just defending their own truth against somebody else's evil or truth. Who is pure? Who is innocent? We need to protect innocence. Not only individuals rights to be innocent but also innocence as a source of beauty, creativity and wisdom."
OCTAVE OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS
Jonas Hellborg bass
Michael Shrieve drums
1 Rana and Fara 15:00
2 Death that Sleeps in Them 5:22
3. The Past Is a Different Country, I Don't Live There Anymore 9:14
4 Child King 5:47
5 Kidogo 7:14
Recorded by Oz Fritz and Paul Berry at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, NY.
Mixed by Jonas Hellborg and Paul Berry at Greenpoint Studio.
Produced by Jonas Hellborg
V Y A K H Y A N - K A R
Art Metal is a confluence of musical rivers. The embryonic Metal-Jazz that Jonas explored with the Johansson Brothers fresh out of Malmsteen’s band in the early 90’s. The constant expanding rhythmic amalgamation stemming from the duo work with Indian percussion genius Selvaganesh. The guitar-bass-drum improv power trio that Hellborg has pursued with constellations like Shawn Lane-Jeff Sipe, McLaughlin-Cobham, Buckethead-Michael Shrieve and in its latest incarnation with guitar phenomenon IA Eklundh and Zoltan Csörsz on drums. And the esthetics of Modern Art Music explored with ex Steve Lacy pianist Michael Smith and groups like Deadline and RAF together with Bill Laswell, Peter Brotzman and others.
This CD subtitled Vyakhyan-kar, north Indian name for a travelling story teller, is a free and open display of symbiotic musical streams that have traveled down mountain ranges in very separate parts of the world but carried the same musical water. When mixed there is no separation it is clear and fresh. Because water is water as music is music.
V Y A K H Y A N - K A R
Jonas Hellborg Bass
Jens Johansson Keyboards
Mattias IA Eklund Guitar
Anders Johansson Drums
3 Nataraja (Hellborg-Selvaganesh)
4 Solitude (Hellborg-Selvaganesh)
5 The Three Princes of Serendip (Hellborg-Selvaganesh)
6 Round Metal Hat (Hellborg-Selvaganesh-Eklundh)
7 Vyakhyan-kar (Hellborg)
8 Art Metal (Hellborg-Selvaganesh-Eklundh)
Raag n Roll...
A nondescript recording studio in Andheri, a Mumbai suburb, is not where you expect to find a globally respected jazz-rock virtuoso. Especially not next door to DJ Nasha's 'one stop shop for DJs.'
But Jonas Hellborg, the Swedish bass guitar phenomenon who exploded onto the music consciousness of the mid-80s playing with guitar God John McLaughlin's new incarnation of Mahavishnu, is hunched over his HP Pavilion laptop, unaware of the incongruity of the scene.
Hellborg is recording for what holds the promise of taking Indo-jazz fusion to the age of nanotechnology.
His Status six-string bass rests on the wall of a 12 foot by 8 room. A cable snakes its way from it into his 'Line six delay and 14-second loop unit.' Another emerges from the eight-inch long green gadget to a compressor pedal, from there onto a router, and then into a computer through a mixer. Simple by 21st century standards.
His partner in melody, Mumbai-based sitar player Niladri Kumar, has a set-up that would make purists miss a staircase. He plays a five-string sitar, which he calls the zitar and is in the process of patenting. It has a pick-up and is plugged into a Boss GT-6 guitar effects processor - a rocker's delight - and goes out from that into the mix.
"Can I ask you a favour? Would you mind being my capo [a device that pushes all the strings together onto a particular point on the fretboard]?" Jonas asks.
Before I can pinch myself, the index finger of my left hand becomes Jonas Hellborg's sixth left-hand finger, holding the strings on the ninth fret while he shows Niladri the motif for one of his compositions.
"It is an experiment", Jonas says about the power trio of V Selvaganesh - ghatam God Vikku Vinayakram's son on the kanjira, "Niladri and he are recording for. Selvaganesh is in Chennai, but he has recorded some tracks with Jonas, and Niladri is adding melody to the bedrock.
Niladri's sitar sounds like a manic guitar. He rips off pure Indian riffs, the sound pure distortion, over complex rhythm structures. "55-57-59, then 555-777-555-999," goes Jonas.
Niladri, who was classically trained since he was four, then gleefully overdubs effect-drenched sitar scapes. Underneath, Selvaganesh's kanjira grooves through time signatures as complex as 5 and three-quarters as if it were a rock beat.
1 Kalis Son (Hellborg-Selvaganesh)
Mixed by Tim Hunt in Aspö with the Bardo Mobile