Silk Road Blues
Larry Porter is one the few musicians who has reached a high artistic level in both eastern and western music. He has been working as a highly regarded jazz pianist and composer in the international scene for over three decades. In addition, he plays the rebab, a short-necked lute with 18 strings, which is considered the national instrument of Afghanistan. On his journey through Asia in 1976, he had the extraordinary opportunity to study with the renowned master, Ustad Mohammad Omar, in Kabul. Since then he has developed a unique style in which he combines Afghan folk music with elements of Indian classical improvisation. With his new project, Silk Road Blues, Porter unites his two musical personas. The rebab meets up with a jazz rhythm section - as well as saxophone and tabla in several pieces - and feels at home in both worlds. Melodies based in part on Afghan and Indian scales move through totally new harmonic landscapes: meditative trance passages flow into dancing grooves, jazz ballads give way to North Indian ragas in teental, Afghan folk rhythms appear in a new guise. Novel sounds and enchanting atmospheres are created in the process. Porter's deep understanding of such diverse music cultures makes this successful and original fusion possible.