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Review: Anurag Naidu’s Introspective Debut Album ‘J’ai Fame’

The Mumbai-based pianist’s seven track record is lush and most enjoyable

Sunil Sampat Feb 18, 2019

'J'ai Fame' album artwork.

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★★★½

The debut album, J’ai Fame, from one of India’s most exciting young jazz pianists, Mumbai-based Anurag Naidu, was recorded at Paris’ Studio Sextan La Fonderie – Naidu had pursued jazz studies in the French capital – and the trio comprises Naidu on piano as well as French musicians Gabriel Midon on bass and Damien Francon on drums. The record consists of seven tracks in all.

Two of the songs, the iconic  “Take Five” and “The Song Is You” are familiar but have entirely new arrangements from Naidu, including new tempos and new moods, the essence of jazz interpretations. The rest is fresh material; “Papillon” is dedicated to Naidu’s jazz teacher at the Paris institute and is a beautiful composition. The album on the whole is introspective and somewhat reminiscent of the style of jazz great Bill Evans’ solo albums.

The interesting album title, J’ai Fame is a twist on the French expression, J’ai Faim (I’m hungry), a familiar sign put up by the homeless in Paris, asking for alms. This album title, J’ai Fame suggests to us that though Naidu has achieved some success, he is still hungry for more and is asking for our indulgence! He certainly deserves it.

Stream ‘J’ai Fame’ on Apple Music below:

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