Beches Brew: Beches Indian Brew
This album is released on August 24, 2017
Beches Indian Brew was made possible by our national Swedish cultural institution Musikverket who backed us up economically. It took place during 2016 starting in January with a tour in India where we were joined in our music by eminent Indian maestros
of the Karnatic as well as the Hindustani traditions. In October some of the Indian musicians joined us for the Swedish leg of the project, a tour during which we did these recordings that conclude the project with this album.
Heartfelt thanks to vidwans J.B. Srutisagar, N. Amrit and V. Suresh as well as pandits Nityanand Haldipur and my tabla gurubhai Sadanand Naimpalli who helped make our concerts in India so successful but are not represented on this album. And extra special thanks to Guru Karaikudi Mani Iyer for inspiration, advice and assistance. Thanks also to Anna Inteman and Jöns Jönsson for their patient and creative filmwork and to Göran Kindlund for the legwork. Bengt ”Beche” Berger
Here are two videos from the album, filmed by Jöns Jönsson at the concert in Stockholm:
- Kakraba High Five (5:22)
- Kamelen (8:10)
- Flabby Dick (3:38)
- Dagar, Djur (12:15)
- Congo Square (4:20)
- Doktor Apa-Magma-Vesuvio-Klingis Khan (10:58)
- Ewe Song (5:27)
- Edith (9:56)
Bengt Berger – In the sixties I started playing jazz but very soon woke up to the sounds from around our globe and moved to India to learn Indian classical music. Then, in the seventies, I lived and studied West African music in Ghana for a couple of years and have ever since been creating music in uenced by these great traditions as well as by the jazz and Swedish folk music that I grew up with. This album more or less sums it up … so far. In my group Beches Brew we have been exploring these crossroads in improvising music traditions for the last ten years. Most of the musicians have been present all the time as well as in earlier groups and projects. I’m grateful for their solidarity and devotion.
Thomas Gustafsson, Jonas Knutsson and Sir Thomas Jäderlund are three very different saxophonist personalities with breathtaking virtuosity, impeccable taste and imagination who complement each other in an inspiring way. Sir T on bass clarinet as well.
Max Schultz and Göran Klinghagen are major voices on the Swedish guitar music scene who even play the banjo if it’s called for, and Stefan Bellnäs is a favourite bass player who plays any kind of music as if it was the only
way to survive.
Livet Nord comes from the western classical and swedish folk music tradition and brings another angle into our music. It is fascinating to hear her violin style side by side with that of the Indian violinists.
Lise-Lotte Norelius is the latest member but she was a part of the Bitter Funeral Beer Band in the early eighties. At that time she was and still is a percussionist but of late she mainly works with electro acoustic music, thereby adding yet something di erent to our music.
Sigge Krantz was also a member of the BFBB as bass and guitar player but nowadays his main work is as a sound engineer. We are happy to have somebody who really knows the music, doing our sound.
Since very long time I have had a desire to actually play my music that is so heavily influenced by Indian and Ghanaian music, together with musicians who have grown up in these traditions. As I have a continuous relation with the Hindustani and Karnatic music scenes in India I have been happy enough to get some of the greatest maestros to join this project. And they joined with great commitment, joy and curiosity, adding generously from their great knowledge, fantasy and musicianship:
Akkarai Sisters, violin, voice – Akkarai Subhalakshmi and Akkarai Sornalatha perform duets on the Karnatic music scene as a violin duo AND they do it equally greatly as a vocal duo apart from being most sought after as accompanists.
K. U. Jayachandra Rao, mridangam – is one of the stalwarts in the world of Indian rhythm today and regularly performs with leading musicians on the Karnatic classical scene.
B. Shree Sundarkumar, khanjira – underwent training under legendary Guru Karaikudi Mani. His quick mind and sense of humour ts very well in the band.
Doe Kushiator – has the status of a priest in the ancient Blekete cult in Ghana and is a legendary Ewe drummer in West Africa that I was learning from in the seventies. We are grateful for the late chance to include him in the Swedish tour and on this album.
Here is the first album review, by Eyal Hareuveni in Salt Penuts
and here is Raul de Gama’s exhaustive great review in World Music Review