hot off the disc burner, the first release from prog-rock powerhouse:
from Hyam R. Sosnow: Tickling The Dragon's Tail
and The Teller-Ulam Configuration
By way of introduction....
Q: Who or what is a Jugalbandi?
A: Jugalbandi is a musical duo, named after an Indian word meaning ‘music for two players’. Jugalbandi plays what could loosely be termed "rock/jazz fusion". (They have also frequently been dubbed "progressive space rock"). The difficulty of labels aside, elements of many styles can be detected in their all-instrumental, mostly improvised music. The duo was formed in 1993 by Greg Segal (guitar) and Hyam Sosnow (drums). In an unusual but fully deliberate decision, Jugalbandi’s line-up is simply guitar and drums. This gives the band’s sound plenty of space, allowing the two players room to explore an enormous range of musical possibilities, and for many often-masked subtleties to be heard.
Q: Who are these guys?
A: Sosnow made his living during the 1970s as a touring musician, playing thousands of live shows with various groups. Segal was a founding member of Paper Bag, whose 4 fully improvised albums for SST during the 1980s garnered international attention and airplay. The pair have worked together in previous groups (Cold Sky, Dog Neutral).
Q: Just two instruments? Won't that sound kind of thin?
A: Despite the lack of overdubs (they record live to DAT), anyone expecting a sparse musical landscape will be surprised. Segal plays with effects units, including some that enable live looping, and so frequently sounds like more than one player and a variety of instruments; Sosnow plays his very large kit with orchestral texture and subtlety, often using more notes than are currently permissible by todays restrictive pop/rock music standards.
Doing the unusual is nothing new for the duo. Both musicians have a strong love for improvisational music and risk-taking, and strong opinions about creative freedom. As part of the release of their 3 disc set, "Jugalbandi 2000", they formulated a manifesto stating their musical beliefs. Some excerpts:
"Freedom of artistic expression supersedes all rules, spoken or unspoken, written or implied."
"Whats commonly accepted as perfection almost always strips music of emotion. To us that seems less than perfect."
"If you emotionally react to our music, even negatively, then we've succeeded. If our music has also made you think, that's even better."
(For the full text of the Manifesto, click HERE.)
In addition, they have come up with a system for classifying how much of a given piece is improvised- the ILCS, or Improvisation Level Classification System. This works as a kind of shorthand for both musician and listener and gives insight into the creation of the music.
Q: What do they sound like?
A: An attempt to describe the bands sound in reference to other bands might read: "Mahavishnu Orchestra by way of Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and King Crimson." But the truth is, Jugalbandi sound most like themselves.
And if in doubt- check the sound clips page!
e-mail Jugalbandi: firstname.lastname@example.org