Darshan Doshi had been a musically-gifted individual right from the age of 2, later joining Kalyanji Anandji’s musical group. Today, apart from being one of the country’s most popular drummers and touring alongside mainstream artists, Doshi fronts his own trio alongside bassist Avishek Dey and guitarist Rhythm Shaw.
Even if some listeners haven’t checked out The Darshan Doshi Trio’s previous discography, their new album Live On Tour 2021 can be a good place to start. Featuring five instrumental and two vocal tracks, the album features exclusive recordings from a five-city tour that the trio embarked on last October.
Quintessentially a jazz-fusion album, each of the songs is vibey enough to get listeners grooving. The two opening tacks Insrhy Master and Night in Tunisia are perfectly peppy while the third one Four For One adds a sense of mystery along with the usual jazz-rock guitar licks. Doshi’s percussion picks up a “Whiplash-like” pace in the next track The Shadow.
This is then followed by the first vocal track, Run. The featured artist Vasundhara Vee’s drawly vocals effortlessly flow with the trio’s music. There is also a heavy soul influence on Vee’s musical energy and Run serves as the perfect interlude in the album. The chorus easily makes it a perfect “hype” song.
Run is followed by another energetic instrumental number Triple Threat, the sound of which is reminiscent of 80s blues-rock classics. The final track is a perfect fusion number that is bound to be one of the trio’s finest works. Titled Bandish Blues, the song features the vocal talents of Carnatic singer Varijashree Venugopal. Her ragas and Rhythm Shaw’s guitar notes make for a perfect duo before Dey’s bass and Doshi’s drums helm a stunning finale. The final minute, in particular, is filled with nothing but absolute energy.
Overall, Live On Tour 2021 does have the potential to be one of this year’s finest albums. From the beginning to the end, rarely does the album get repetitive. It is a perfect celebration of the trio’s music, showing how there still seems to be interest in the Indian indie space for genres other than the usual dose of pop and hip-hop.
Verdict: Indian jazz fusion at its finest.