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Ron Cha’s New EP Is a Seamless Blend of Assamese Folk and Jazz Music 

The artist mines traditional music from his native state, giving it a modern twist

Sunil Sampat Jun 27, 2022

Ron Cha. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

★★★★

Maati is technically a “fusion” EP but unlike other music from this genre, where two or more music types share a common platform, pianist Ronojit Chaliha aka Ron Cha’s record blends different styles organically.

Folk songs from his native Assam are given the space for full expression where the pianist appends his jazz improvisation. This blending is seamless and sounds natural. It is probably because the traditional roots of the music and Chaliha’s jazz instincts coexist. It is a pleasing blend of two convergent streams, making it seem as if Ronojit Chaliha meets Ron Cha, the jazzman. It is just one person, but the music is from dual perspectives.

The Assamese melodies are beautiful and rendered well vocally by Kalpana Patowary and Biren Deuri. Chaliha’s piano is mellow and understated, and a nice saxophone solo from Schwarz Bart on “O Mur Apunar Desh” adds an intricate jazz touch to the record.

This record is a wonderful introduction to the beauty of Assam’s folk music, well packaged in a modern context.

Stream ‘Maati’ on Spotify below and on other platforms.

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