NEW YORK (TIP): Released this past fall on Universal Music Classics, American Pilgrimage, an album of Indian melody and jazz improvisation, has ascended to No. 8 on the Indian Jazz Charts on iTunes. The track ‘Kesariya’ has been featured on Spotify’s Jazz Playlist and California’s jazz and world radio station KCRW featured it in a list of their top jazz albums of 2015.
Pianist Jay Oliver, featured on the album praised the record, saying, “Some of the most interesting music I’ve ever been a part of comes from the rich cultural tapestry of India. Of the highest measure, American Pilgrimage is an international blend of musical style and influence that is both timeless and innovative. Working with Sanjay Chitale and Sandeep Chowta was quite possibly the most profound musical experience of my life.”
The album is the culmination of a life-long dream of Bollywood music director, multi-instrumentalist and composer Sandeep Chowta. He wanted to meet and record with his jazz idols, including John Scofield, Bunny Brunel, Eddie Daniels, Andy LaVerne, Dave Valentine and more. His friend and musical partner, vocalist Sanjay Chitale, made it his mission to bring this dream to reality. Several years ago, the two embarked on a two-year-long journey across the United States, nocking on doors, calling friends, crashing on couches and recording music with the aforementioned legends they sought out.
Spyro Gyra, Tom Schuman and Indian Violin maestro L Subramanyam have immensely praised the effort of Sandeep Chowta and Sanjay Chitale.
American Pilgrimage fuses jazz improvisation with ethereal Indian grooves. Sandeep would lay down tracks, creating a backdrop of pulsing Indian rhythms and melodies and Sanjay would add his floating vocals. The two would present the tracks to the jazz artists, who all displayed their own brand of virtuosity, finding new voice in the context of these foreign sounds.
Sandeep Chowta is a prolific Indian Bollywood music director whose work can be heard in some of the biggest Bollywood films such as Om Shanti Om and Rowdy Rathore. He has also has recorded his own jazz albums including Mitti and Matters of the Heart, both on Sony Music.
Sanjay Chitale’s life was rooted in music until he found himself working in Information Technology. When the opportunity to record American Pilgrimage came along, he sold his investments and dove head first into the project. This is both Sanjay and Sandeep’s recording debut on Universal Music Classics.