"[Sheela Bringi's Incantations] is like the NPR staff took a notepad and started playing MadLibs "
from: Bearded Gentlemen Music '2014 Albums You May Have Missed'
"We’ve seen it before: a fusion of a genre that could be lazily labled with a world music tag bringing in new instruments to re-contextualize familiar genres. This time it’s a thavil (a type of Indian drum) that works as a backdrop for Colorado multi-instrumentalist Sheela Bringi’s take on jazz, blues, and brass. It’s like NPR staff took a notepad and started playing MadLibs. Of course the rub is that Bringi’s style and songwriting is compelling enough to warrant more work as a session musician if that’s what she chooses. Incantations didn’t make a huge impact this year, but it is one of the rewards this year had for people who followed the right places closely enough at the right time."
Sheela Bringi's latest release Incantations makes the Best World Music Albums of 2014 list by World Music Central along with Toumani & Sidiki, Susheela Raman, Noura Mint Seymali and others.
World Music Central’s music critics and special guest revealed today their lists of best world music albums of 2014. Although a handful of albums were released prior to 2014 in some territories, release schedules vary from territory to territory and the majority of these recordings were released in 2014.
from Spirituality & Health Magazine
Reviewer: John Malkin
2014 November / December
Soulful music has probably always blossomed from an array of musical styles and sounds across planet Earth, carrying within it a diversity of mystical teachings. Incantations, the debut solo album from Sheela Bringi, brings together two rich musical and spiritual traditions of Black American Jazz/Blues and devotional Vedic chanting from India—and the result is dynamic and intoxicating.
Bringi is an Indian-American vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who combines Indian musicality with jazz sensibilities for a new sound where harmoniums, horn sections, harp, and Bansuri flute all share a home together. The album was produced and recorded by longtime friend and musical collaborator Clinton Patterson. The two met at California Institute of the Arts and recorded and toured their groundbreaking Indian-Jazz fusion sound with the band PremaSoul. The highest moments of Incantations are a result of the Bringi-Patterson connection, as heard in their combined vocals on “Peacock,” which also features smooth trumpet textures from Patterson, who was influenced by experimental Jazz trumpet player Jon Hassell.
Incantations made the first-round ballot for the 57th Annual Grammy Award Nominations. Voting wraps up Nov. 5th to determine the final 5 nominations in each category (Incantations is on the list for the 'Best New Age Album' nomination). Thanks to all of you for your love and support!
Read more about the other first-round ballot nominees in the 'New Age' Category: http://thebhaktibeat.com/kirtan-represents-in-grammys-first-round-ballot-as-nominations-voting-wraps-up-nov-5/
I am honored that 'The Three-Eyed One' from my album Incantations was included in GlobeSonic Radio's best international songs of 2014 (so far). Other artists include Eccodek, Alsarah & the Nubatones, Susheela Raman, Stromae, Ester Rada and many more. Twice a month GlobeSonic Dj's Fabian Alsultany & Derek Beres, both veteran world music industry professionals, explore the culture and context of global music while leading you on a journey through this amazing planet of sounds.
What do you get when you cross British-Tamil pop, avant-garde piano and ancient Vedic chanting? Sheela Bringi PRI's The World
from Public Radio International's 'The World', 2/04/2014
Reporter Bruce Wallace
February 04, 2014 · 12:30 PM EST
About 50 people braved a miserable, cold mid-winter Manhattan evening recently, gathering in the front room of a Hare Krishna center to listen to a quick set by Sheela Bringi and DJ Drez. Bringi alternated between singing and playing the traditional Indian harmonium keyboard and bansuri flute.
Listen to the Full Story:
There’s a world of world music for this New Sounds. Listen to an electric distorted version of West African trance music from Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara, along with a powerful song of praise that explores the links between India and the Balkans from Sheela Bringi. There’s also music from Maracatu New York, who are a band steeped in the maracatu band music of northeast Brazil. Their sound manages to fuse Brazilian rhythms with those of traditional New Orleans Second Line music and the Mardi Gras Indians.
"Hindu Jazz Fusion" - Yoga Journal Magazine
by Amanda Russell
Before there were love songs to women, there were love songs to gods. Recording artist Sheela Bringi reminds us of that sacred era with her debut solo album, Incantations, conveying her deep spiritual love in a way that even the most secular listener can relate to. Hindu devotional lyrics and traditional Indian instruments unify the album, giving each song a strong and evocative history, even as bright, golden threads of Balkan brass and American blues and jazz weave through the music. Incantations is the union of Bringi's worlds: America, where she was born and raised; and India, her ancestral, artistic, and spiritual home.
"Invocation," which opens the album, incorporates a droning harmonium to complement Bringi's ethereal voice and elegant harp playing. It's a perfect meditative start to asana practice. But count on the rest of the tracks to command more attention, in particular "Sri Krishnna," which features Indian classical vocalist Aditya Prakash, an emotive American-born singer whose deep voice highlights Bringi's lilting vocals. Incantations is a call to be in the moment.
"...Indian music expands to accommodate the spirit and whatever human circumstances enclose it. This new take on classical mantras by a classically trained vocalist, harpist and virtuosi of the bamboo flute is deeply respectful of tradition, but open to all of the sounds of Bringi's native Western United States. Hip-hop, Balkan music and the blues all meld within grooves that only gain intensity from the reformulations Bringi and her collaborators explore. This music isn't just for your yoga practice..."
Sheela Bringi was brought up in Colorado, the daughter of a professor of Hinduism, Sanskrit and yoga studies, and has developed a subtle musical fusion in which Hindu devotional chants are reworked with influences that range from jazz and blues to Balkan brass. It succeeds because she is respectful of the original material and is an excellent musician, matching her cool, clear vocals against her skills on the harp, harmonium and bansuri bamboo flute. The western influences come from her producer, Clinton Patterson, who adds thoughtful jazz trumpet and bluesy guitar. Elsewhere, the backing includes anything from wailing drone effects to carefully muted drum'n'bass. The mood is often gently hypnotic, as with the harp-backed Bhajamana Ram, but on Buffalo-Demon Slayer she uses Indian thavil drums, saxophone, clarinet and trumpet for a rousing exploration of the links between India and the Balkans.