Album reviews

Nick Walters – ‘Padmāsana’ 

Nick Walters – Padmāsana
(D.O.T Records. Album review by Tony Dudley-Evans)

Padmāsana has been put together by Nick Walters, a trumpeter known for his work with his own The Paradox Ensemble and with similar large ensembles such as the Beats & Pieces Big Band and the Riot Jazz Brass Band. 

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Walters made extensive trips to India in 2017 and 2019 and collected a large number of field recordings there. He then used certain of these recordings as samples in a session with flautist Tenderlonious, trombonist Kieran McLeod, drummer Tim Carnegie as well as Walters himself on trumpet and synths.

The samples used are many and varied. On Namaskaran, for example, the sample is of a religious call, while on Nilgiri Hills, Walters has captured the sound of children on a train journey who screamed every time they went through a tunnel. Over these samples Walters and Tenderlonious weave attractively melodic lines that blend very effectively with the samples. 

On Goa, an upbeat track which features a very short sample of the sounds of a beach in Goa leading into a to and fro between trumpet and flute supported by a strong groove on the drums and synths.

McLeod has two very strong solo features, the first on Road To Munnar where he plays over a sample taken from a Hindu religious ceremony, the second on Udaipur where the sample is of a wedding band. 

Other tracks feature samples of a street busker in Jodhpur (Blue City Busker) and of a yoga teacher’s prayer (Prayer).

The use of samples taken on Walters’ trips to India are worth emphasising here as these are a unique and innovative feature of the album. However, the album succeeds as a result of the melodies and rhythms created by all four musicians that blend very effectively with the Indian atmosphere of the tracks. The result is both a very attractive album and a celebration of Indian culture.

LINK: Padmāsana on Bandcamp

1 reply »

  1. I think you’ve summed things up nicely here, and I agree. It’s a beautifully crafted piece, with the sort of musicianship one has come to expect from
    Nick, and those around him on this recording. I’ve never been to India, but can feel and smell the place as I listen to the album sitting in the sun now. That says it all does it not?

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