7/22/17 – Saagara “2” (2017)

Saagara is the joining of cultures and genres, ending up in a place closest resembling Free Jazz. “Saagara” translates to “Ocean”, and they describe their sound as the joining of two rivers to flow into a boundless and eternal ocean. The two rivers are Western Jazz and Eastern Folk and it’s expansive scales. It’s that perfect weirdness that strikes me immediately upon listening and triggering the thought in my head “I have to listen to everything these guys have ever done”. Very soon into the album the pairing felt completely natural and obvious.

The opener Daydream is quite an apt title, it’s a repetitive and hypnotic piece that flowers up to Wacław Zimpel’s erratic and psychotic clarinet playing. He blows with vigor and emotion- but seemingly aimless and wanton. The bedrock of his solo is simply stunning, and something I could listen to all day as I drift away. Spring Fever shares that hypnotic sound with a wild but comparatively subdued violin. I really love the tribal rhythms and intensity of Uprise, a song heavy on it’s Folk roots but not entirely without the Jazz influence as well. It’s a danceable groove which is an ever so slight change in pace from the sound of the first half of this album, but it makes a huge difference.

That funky groove is revitalized and made strong in Ebb and Flow, a supremely smooth track. Lanes slows thing down further, and this is just another purely enjoyable song that I could listen to again and gain. I love the playful mouth harps and how everything fits together so perfectly. They close with Morphidia, a somber and mellow song due to mainly a piano playing very blue chords over and over. Zimpel’s clarinet is now completely emoting, translating pain and frustration over the much-too-short 3 minute run time. This is a fantastic album that I’m not sure exactly who I’d recommend it to… so I’ll recommend it to everyone.