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An exploratory MHB fan …

So I’ve been listening to Mekaal Hasan Band for some years now. It started with a wierd private website that doesn’t even exist now, where I found a very very raw audio feed of a Mekaal Hasan Band jam, labelled ‘Late Moon’. And that song was enough to make me fall in love with its music.

Mekaal-Hasan-Band-1

THe song that I’ve shared is ‘Sampooran‘- here’s to hoping you love the baansri (flute) on this one as much as I did. This song is beautiful, and eternal …

So, what do you think?

The launch of Asif Sinan – live performance at Base Rock Cafe

Playing live at BRC with the band …

After a long break, I finally visited Base Rock Café, to catch Asif Sinan’s live performance with his band, last Saturday the 11th of February. I had heard some of his recordings, and seen some of his jams before, which is why I really wanted to see his live act, and how he gels and performs with the band.
Putting it in simple words, the gig at BRC was a success, with Asif Sinan leading guitars and vocals, and had excellent support from Hassaan Sohail providing an impressive bass line and Asim Siddiqui playing drums. The performance featured both, plugged and unplugged tracks, with a mix of covers (Eric Clapton, George Benson, Amir Zaki) that had influenced Asif Sinan’s music and his own personal instrumentals and songs that are due to become a part of the launch of his first album : Jazzical!
Another interesting thing to note was the drummer’s use of handmade ‘HOT RODS’ and MALLETS instead of normal sticks. When asked about it after the show, I learned that it was Asif’s idea to use them, as an inspiration from the use of brushes by Billy Cobham (one of the great Jazz Fusion drummers), and to keep the sound light and suitable for an indoor café, which I think displayed rank maturity akin to a true professional musician.
The overall theme of the gig created a really nice musical ambience in the café, with Asif concentrating on his specialty, Jazz and Indian Classical genres, creating a wonderful mix from his guitar that oozed real intellectual class, and was evident of the hard work he has put in over the years, and of his decision to study Indian Classical music to become a summa cum laude graduate from National Academy of Performing Arts in Pakistan. The testament to this was the hush-like silence of the crowd during his performances, attentive to every pluck of his guitar strings, appreciating in spontaneous bursts of applause on some wonderfully composed parts. His song ‘Soona Jeevan’ was a masterpiece with strong ‘bass guitar-drums-lead guitar’ coordination and very strong classical vocals. Also, his cover of ‘Mera Pyar’ had the audience enthralled till the very end. I also think his song ‘Jo Jaaye Jaane Do’ with its funky happy-go-lucky theme, can be produced into a very good music video! The show ended with his classical rendition of the National Anthem, which he also played at the PTI Jalsa in Karachi.
Another unique thing that I witnessed was the distribution of event cards at the gig, which displayed Asif Sinan’s picture at the front with the playlist for the show documented inside, that allowed the audience to keep up with what was being played, as most of the tracks were his own compositions. Hassaan and Asim confided after the show, that keeping up with Asif’s prowess is a constant challenge which is why it is so enjoyable and satisfying a experience to play for Asif Sinan. I, for one look forward to his future performances and the release of his album! Good show!
GIG PLAYLIST  

UNPLUGGED

Tears in Heaven (cover of Eric Clapton)
Brew
Jo Jaaye Jaane Do
I remember Wes (cover of George Benson)

PLUGGED

Raag Kirwani
Mera Pyar (cover of Aamir Zaki)
Soona Jeevan
Dekha Tujhey (cover of Strings)
Aisa Na Ho
Jo Jaye Janey Do
Money (cover of Aamir Zaki)
National Anthem (Classical version)
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