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YOU’D BE SURPRISED...
IT IS TO GET A GOOD,
Ithasbeenyearssincecomposer Sandeep Chowta — known for his music in Bollywood hits like Satya, Vaastav,
Company and more — first spoke to the
media about his dream of traveling through
the United States meeting jazz idols such as
John Scofield, Bunny Brunel, Eddie Daniels,
Andy LaVerne, Dave Valentine and more.
That dream came true thanks to Sanjay
Chitale, a New Jersey-based techie, vocalist
and friend. It culminated with the release
of their debut collaboration, American
Pilgrimage, last month.
American Pilgrimage, released through
Universal music, is their labor of love, created over many years and from dreams
rooted in a passion for jazz and Indian
It is also a nod to the journey Chowta and
Chitale took through the US. Chitale’s pas-
sion was rooted in music, but as it often
happens, he found himself working
in information technology. When the
opportunity to record American
Pilgrimage came along, he sold his invest-
ments and dove head first into the project.
Together Chitale and Chowta roughed it
to achieve their goal, sleeping on couches
and taking in the kindness of friends as they
trekked across the country, determined to
record with the jazz legends they admired.
On American Pilgrimage, Chowta would
lay down tracks, creating a backdrop of
pulsing Indian rhythms and melodies, and
Chitale would add his floating vocals. The
two then brought these tracks to the jazz
artists, who all displayed their own brand
of virtuosity, finding new voice in the context of these foreign sounds.
Thodi Thodi features John Scofield on the
guitar, which is almost reminiscent of the
sounds of a sitar against Chowta’s rhythmic tabla. Scofield recorded his solo in one
take, and the duo was stunned with how
seamlessly the first shot at such a collaboration worked.
‘I rarely find myself in a wholly different
musical world but in this instance I did,’
Scofield said in a press statement. ‘It was a
pleasure to work with these fine musicians.’
Brunel, who is also part of the track
titled Tu, said in a press statement, ‘I was so
amazed at the freedom with which Indian
singers choose their notes. The whole expe-
rience was simply incredible.’
T1NY/NJ/CT India Abroad December 11, 2015
A New Jersey techie, a
Bollywood composer and
their American Pilgrimage
From left, Sandeep Chowta, Sanjay Chitale and John Scofield.
COURTES Y: T WI TTER. COM/SANDEEP_CHOW TA