Surinder Sandhu Band
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Surinder Sandhu Band

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
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"'Electrifying!..."

if a composer’s grasp isn’t beyond his reach what’s heaven for?' - Jazzwise Magazine


"“An unusually successful East/West project”."


A fool who pursues his folly shall become wise, said William Blake, and there is something splendidly foolhardy about this epic East-West collage.
It was recorded in Calcutta, Los Angeles, Liverpool and Birmingham and features, if not a cast of thousands, many members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, various top soloists – ranging from Andy Sheppard on saxophone to Steve Vai on guitar – and some superb Indian percussion.

The road is littered with failed attempts to bring together Western classical music, jazz and Indian music. Even the better ones are flawed: John Mayer’s music can sound stiff while John McLaughlin’s assorted groups have the fluidity but can be self-indulgent. But this record avoids these traps, partly by having the right balance of structure and soloing and also, perhaps, by not taking itself too seriously: in the sleeve notes Surindher Sandhu promises his parents to ‘get a real job some day’.
The record was not recorded to computer click-tracks and has an exceptional freshness to it, aided by some memorable melodies and first-rate production. A big plus is that Sandhu plays that most soulful and increasingly rare Indian instrument, the sarangi (which means ‘a thousand colours’. And instead of bright, high-pitch Bollywood-type strings we have a Western string sound, which gives the record a touch of class, even if in places you feel there should be a film or dancers – this music would certainly make a fabulous soundtrack to something extraordinary.

Hats off to Surinder Sandhu for one of the best examples of East-West music I’ve heard in years. - Peter Culshaw
- SONGLINES


"'Groundbreaking!'"

Surinder Sandhu’s Saurang Orchestra is one of the most refreshing and exciting recordings this reviewer has heard in years. Sandhu excels on the sarangi, an ancient Northern Indian instrument that has very few practitioners due to its extremely difficult facilities. In fact, in India there are only three Masters left teaching its tradition. Sandhu has decided to dedicate himself to this instrument--and to do so, Sandu, who is Indian but was raised in the UK, has to frequently travel to India.
Sandhu’s devotion to the sarangi is matched only by the intensity of the music from this brilliant album. Saurang Orchestra is a stunning collage of Indian influenced jazz and symphonic power. It was written, arranged and orchestrated by Sandhu. (Roland Chadwick also aids in inspiration and on one of the compositions. He also adds his acoustic guitar to two of the pieces).
Sandhu wrote the music especially for favorite soloists. These soloists, plus 7 others, include the fine acoustic guitar players Fred Wisdom and Haldin Wright and guitar legend Steve Vai. Steve Vai? Yes, playing some beautiful Far Eastern acoustic and flaming electric guitar. Also featured with great success are saxophone players George Brooks and Andy Sheppard. Chandra Chakraborty is a mesmerizing vocalist and Shabhaz Hussain displays a confident mastery of the tabla. Of special interest is multi-talented drummer Mark Anderson, who earlier this year was featured in the release of the fine Wild Strings Quartet CD as a guitarist!
The Symphonic power comes from the Saurang Orchestra itself, 18 members strong, culled from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The Orchestra is augmented by a combination of Eastern and Western players as well. Sandhu has written uplifting themes, deep in scope, for them to play. The soloists use all of their gifts as they seem truly dedicated to use this forum to honor the groundwork laid by Sandu.
Don’t look now, but perhaps the most exciting music in jazz happening today is coming from the influences of the Eastern world, and India in particular. India seems to be embracing this music, a jazz-Indian hybrid, as evidenced by the many recent successful tours of that country featuring Indo and Western performers. Remember Shakti is probably the preeminent band, but others who have made the trip to India include Billy Cobham and Jean Luc Ponty, to perform with the great Indian violinist L. Subramaniam. Swedish Bassist Jonas Hellborg has been touring the country and George Brooks, who appears on this very album, has had great success there as well. This movement is a very exciting and important one. Despite the truly serious and thematic nature of this groundbreaking work, The Saurang Orchestra is an album you will get a kick out of listening to because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is full of wonderful jazz, ingratiating multi-cultural hooks and dramatic orchestral interludes and crescendos. It fits all of the pieces together in a puzzle that is a joy to assemble. This album puts Sandhu in the forefront of one of the most exciting jazz experiments now underway.

Walter Kolosky
- All About Jazz.com


"'A Must Listen!'"

‘A fantastic CD bursting with all corners of creative music, a must listen! Surinder has found a way to bring several different strands of musical expression together – Jazz, Indian Classical, UK POP, Classical and more on a single CD that unites a nation through the power of his music’
- Courtney Pine


"'exciting, accessible, but also ambitious'"

Surinder Sandhu has created music that has managed to ingrain multi-cultural hooks and is by turns exciting, accessible, but also ambitious, rare and intelligent
The Times - The Times


"In my Top 10 Desert Island Discs Choice!"

'Some of the most amazing music I have ever heard!' - Janice Long - BBC Radio 2


"'Genius'"

Working with a musician such as Surinder Sandhu gives great insight into the workings of a genius mind.
With spirituality at the core of his approach he is able to transcend the listener way beyond music.
As a producer he has the clarity and understanding of a performing musician (being one himself, of course!) coupled with the warmth and love to communicate exactly what he hears in his head. For me, that made the recording process on the Fictionist a real pleasure.
The music itself needs no big explanation…it needs listening! However, its true to say Surinder’s music is a real smorgasbord of colourful emotions.
I feel the Fictionist holds an important place in today’s world of music. Culturally, it crosses many boundaries, fusing music from East with West and beyond. Classical, jazz and rock music sit comfortably with Indian traditional style themes.
Repeated listening compels me to find new avenues, enticing new discoveries.
Surinders music encourages the ‘brave heart’ in me. It wills me personally to cast my own musical net much wider.

Dennis Rollins
- Dennis Rollins


Discography

Discography
Albums by Surinder Sandhu.
"Saurang Orchestra" featuring: The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Steve Vai, George Brooks, Andy Sheppard and the finest Indian Classical Musicians in India + others.

"Cycles and Stories" with the Surinder Sandhu Band.

"The Fictionist" with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Tunde Jegede, Dennis Rollins, Sense of Sound Choir , Black Voices Choir and others (out September 1st 08)
Tracks available on website

"Cycles and Stories" with the Surinder Sandhu Band.

"The Fictionist" with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Tunde Jegede, Dennis Rollins, Sense of Sound Choir , Black Voices Choir and others (out September 1st 08)
Tracks available on website

Photos

Bio

- The Fictionist -
The epic new album is out now and features the power of a full symphony orchestra, choir and some of the world’s greatest musicians from India, Africa, USA and UK.
www.surindersandhu.com

Comments on The Fictionist, the stunning new album
Out 1st September 2008

'Don’t look now, but perhaps the most exciting music in jazz happening today is coming from the influences of the Eastern world, and India in particular, This album puts Sandhu in the forefront of one of the most exciting jazz experiments now underway!'
Walter Kolosky, allaboutjazz.com

'Surinder knows what an orchestra sounds like and what an orchestra can do and he relies on me to see that it does it. It’s a very creative process and Surinder is one of the most creative musicians I’ve ever worked with'
Richard Gordon Smith, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

‘A fantastic CD bursting with all corners of creative music, a must listen! Surinder has found a way to bring several different strands of musical expression together – Jazz, Indian Classical, UK POP, Classical and more on a single CD that unites a nation through the power of his music’
Courtney Pine

'There is an air of English eccentricity that envelopes these eclectic musical forays into a perfect soundtrack of life in Britain’s major cities today! life changing magical experiences in…Such is the quality of Surinder Sandhu!
Jean Paul 'Bluey' Maunick - Incognito

"The sarangi expresses the very soul of Indian
feeling and thought." - Yehudi Menuhin

Surinder Sandhu has established himself as one of the most inventive, exciting and talented composer/soloists both in the West and East. So much so, that for his debut album 'SauRang Orchestra', he had an outstanding array of 'A' list maestro's falling over themselves to work with him.

His debut was recorded over a 12 month period in three continents. Sandhu enrolled diverse talent for his project, including amongst others; The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Guitar Legend Steve Vai, British Saxophone hero Andy Sheppard and many eminent Indian soloists.

'SauRang Orchestra' won critical acclaim the world over, catapulting Surinder Sandhu into major league music circles, where he was publicised through mainstream media channels

In 2004, (after recruiting a team of undiscovered talent), and less than a year after releasing 'SauRang', Surinder returned with 'Cycles and Stories'. This incredibly fresh sounding record featured his current line up and focused on capturing the energy from their live shows.

Some of the most amazing music I have ever heard
Janice Long, BBC Radio 2 on Saurang Orchestra

Aside from touring internationally, Surinder is in constant demand as a recording artist, composer and lecturer in contemporary music.

Following his highly successful collaborations over the past 10 years, Surinder was composer and producer of choice to create a special piece to celebrate 'Liverpool, City Of Culture 2008'.

September 2008 has seen the release of his third outing 'The Fictionist', described as an epic symphonic collage, which features the much anticipated 'Liverpool 08' Commission.

The project has developed a strong passionate following from fans and industry peers respectively. It has drawn talented collaborators such as the music production team behind the US TV hit '24', Sonic Distribution (providing tens of thousands of pounds of high tech recording equipment), BBC Choir of the Year 'Sense of Sound', BBC Jazz artist of the year, Dennis Rollins, African Maestro, Tunde Jegede, and other special guests.
The Fictionist Tour brings the beauty of the production into a tighter touring group, with an incredible range of sounds and textures, and with many of the guest soloists joining us at different venues. This is the band which performers - jazz, classical, folk and world - want to guest with, and add their tang to the savour.

Surinder is also fast becoming a top choice in film scoring, so far for he has accepted offers to score for an Indian Western 'The Drought' and New York Indian movie 'Round Trip Ticket', set in India, Las Vegas and New York.

The making of 'The Fictionist' is currently being filmed for broadcast on VH1 & Channel V in Asia and BBC Four in the UK.