You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jai Uttal

Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997.

With:
Band: Jai Uttal, Peter Apfelbaum, Will Bernard, Jeff Cressman, Geoffry Gordon, Keith McArthur, Irene Sazer, Kit Walker.

Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997.

The unique hybrid of world music Jai Uttal creates with his Pagan Love Orchestra is remindful of a restaurant that offers cuisines from several different continents: As tasty as it can get, it almost always lacks an emotional center.

Much of what Uttal and his septet perform is engaging and melodic, an easily digestible melange of styles as disparate as Pakistani qawwali music, Jamaican reggae and ska, Indian rai and American smooth jazz. In the first five minutes of his show, which emphasized music from his fourth Triloka/Mercury disc, “Shiva Station,” Uttal vocally aped a cantor, established a drone with an Indian harmonium and broke the hypnotic nature of his melody with a muted trumpet solo.

Uttal, a Gotham native who performs a variety of string instruments and early on studied with classical Indian masters and performed with street musicians in Bengal, sings in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali and English. Sometimes it sounds like gibberish and other times as if it were lifted from a Hare Krishna text, yet it never penetrates with the conviction of the singers he emulates.

The Pagan Love Orchestra is an adept bunch, convincing in settings that echo devotional music as well as street-savvy dance rhythms. The band’s heavy use of the trombone is occasionally at odds with the gentleness of the other instrumentation, but it’s the heart of the lightness and buoyancy that keeps Uttal’s audience coming back for more. Two dancers, one of which was a stunningly graceful contortionist, added to the arresting visuals.

Jai Uttal

(House of Blues; 900 capacity; $ 15)

Production: Presented inhouse.

Cast: Band: Jai Uttal, Peter Apfelbaum, Will Bernard, Jeff Cressman, Geoffry Gordon, Keith McArthur, Irene Sazer, Kit Walker.

More Music

  • Saweetie, Remy Ma

    Remy Ma Urges Collaboration Among Female Rappers: 'There's Strength in Numbers'

    Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997. The unique hybrid of world music Jai Uttal creates with his Pagan Love Orchestra is remindful of a restaurant that offers cuisines from several different continents: As tasty as it can get, it almost always lacks an emotional center. Much of what Uttal and his septet perform is engaging and melodic, […]

  • Fergie

    Fergie Sexes Up National Anthem at NBA All-Star Game and America Isn't Having It

    Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997. The unique hybrid of world music Jai Uttal creates with his Pagan Love Orchestra is remindful of a restaurant that offers cuisines from several different continents: As tasty as it can get, it almost always lacks an emotional center. Much of what Uttal and his septet perform is engaging and melodic, […]

  • Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to

    Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to Be Nearing Bankruptcy

    Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997. The unique hybrid of world music Jai Uttal creates with his Pagan Love Orchestra is remindful of a restaurant that offers cuisines from several different continents: As tasty as it can get, it almost always lacks an emotional center. Much of what Uttal and his septet perform is engaging and melodic, […]

  • Kendrick Lamar's Label Hosts Free 'Black

    Kendrick Lamar's Label Hosts Free 'Black Panther' Screenings for Kids in Watts

    Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997. The unique hybrid of world music Jai Uttal creates with his Pagan Love Orchestra is remindful of a restaurant that offers cuisines from several different continents: As tasty as it can get, it almost always lacks an emotional center. Much of what Uttal and his septet perform is engaging and melodic, […]

  • Harry Connick Jr

    Harry Connick Jr. Talk Show to End After 2 Seasons (EXCLUSIVE)

    Reviewed Oct. 8, 1997. The unique hybrid of world music Jai Uttal creates with his Pagan Love Orchestra is remindful of a restaurant that offers cuisines from several different continents: As tasty as it can get, it almost always lacks an emotional center. Much of what Uttal and his septet perform is engaging and melodic, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content