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Shujaat Husain Khan: Will You?

Sitarist and vocalist Shujaat Husain Khan mixes traditional South Asian sounds and grooves with modern western moods with aplomb on this collection of originals. He brings together Katayoun Goudarzi/voc and Dibyarka Chatterjee/tab to supply the exotic voice and percussion to serve as a rich contrast and complement to Kevin Hays’ piano and Tim Ries’ woodwinds.

The result ranges between soft folklike tunes akin to vintage Windham Hill days, with Hays flowing on the fingers during “Sweet Caroline” as well as on “Dissaray, with the mix of tenor sax and sitar. Goudarzi’s richly nasal voice adds mystique as she teams with Khan on the slowly undulating “Void” along with Ries’ soprano and she speaks meditatively to his flute during the misty “Let Me” Mix of sitar and table create intricate moments as they jam during “Unafraid” while getting spacious on “Don’t” and Khan’s voice itself is a muscular addition, adding depth to many of the pieces. A rich exotic journey through various side streets.