“Listening to this exotic version of “Take Five” brings back wonderful memories of Pakistan where my Quartet played in 1958. East is East, and West is West, but through music the twain meet. Congratulations!”

“This is most interesting and different recording of “Take Five” I’ve ever heard.
—Dave Brubeck

Live Appearance
New York, NY – November 22nd, 2013
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis collaborates with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble, master musicians from Pakistan who incorporate ancient instruments, such as sitar, sarod, tabla, and dholak into the sounds and rhythms of iconic jazz repertoire. This collaboration is JALC’s latest installment in a string of cross-cultural investigations, which have paired the JLCO with musicians from Ghana and Spain, among others, as the organization actualizes its mission to make jazz available globally by interfacing the sounds of jazz, grounded firmly in American values of blues and swing expression, with an international array of musical languages and configurations. 2012 Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is currently filming this remarkable ensemble for a documentary that will be released in 2014, which will conclude with the Sachal Jazz Ensemble’s highly anticipated collaboration with the JLCO.

Artist: Sachal Studios Orchestra
Label: Imagine Music
Catalog Number: SM026
Release Date: September 10, 2013

Track Listing
1. You’ve Got It Bad Girl (Wonder) 4;49
2. If You Go Away (Brel) 4:39
3. Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf/Blackburn) 4:40
4. Monsoon (Afzal) 5:14
5. The Pink Panther (Mancini) 5:07
6. Ponteio (Lobo) 6:02
7. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3:41
8. Blue Rondo A la Turk (Brubeck) 4:12
9. Kafi Jazz (Five Rivers) (Abbas) 4:36
10. Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.) 5:50
11. Wave (Jobim) 5:26
12. To The End Of The World (Metheny/Mays) 6:29
13. Morning Has Broken (Traditional) 5:33

Sachal Studios Orchestra
Sitar: Nafees Ahmed Khan
Tabla: Ballu Khan
Dholaks & Percussion: Rafiq Ahmed and Najaf Ali
Cello: Umar Draz, Ghulam Abbas and Waqas Ali
Violin: Saleem Khan, Altaf Hydar, Javaid Ali, Akbar Noushad,
Kaleen Khan, Mukhtar Hussain, Mohammed Ilyas,
Kahwar Hussain, Akbar Abbas, Sakhawat Ali, Babar Baila, Nadeen Ahmad, Fazal Hussain, Aqeel Anwar, Chand, Ghulam Hussain,
Ghulam Ali, Riasat Hussain, Mubarak Ali, Abid Ali, Akram Farooqi, Amjad Ali, Basharat Ali and Nijat Ali.

UK Musicians:
Trumpet/Flugel: Derek Watkins Percussion: Chris Wells
Piano: Steve Lodder Bass/Harmonica: Philip Achile
Harp: Sally Price Sarod: Soumik Datta
Guitar: John Parracelli Ghatam: Bangalore Prakash
Moorsing (jewsharp): Kandiah Sithaparanatha

Abbie Osman, Alice Fearn, Claire Henry, Joanna Forbes, Mary Carewe,
Rachel Weston, Sarah Ryen, Soophia Foroughi, Yona Dunsford.
Metro Voices- Choir Master Jenny O’Grady

Studio Credits:
Original Recording by Munir Kokab
Assisted by Samuel(Pinku) Suleimen-Waheed Sachal Studios, Lahore, July 2011-Feb 2013
Additional Recording ‘Monsoon’ Sam Okell, Abbey Road Studios- London 2010
Additional recording by Christoph Bracher Assisted by Sameer Khan & Drew Smith, Assault & Battery Studios, London. March-April 2013
Final Mixing by Christoph Bracher Assisted by Sameer Khan, Assault & Battery Studios, London. May 2013
Mastering by Sam Okel, Abbey Road Studios, London May 2013
All tracks arranged by Izzat Majeed, Assisted by Nijat Ali
UK session & studio work coordinated by Jay Visvadeva
Artwork Concept by Izzat Majeed, Artwork & Graphics Kikuchi
This album carries lasting memories of the late maestro Riaz Hussain

Track Listing Info:

01   You’ve Got It Bad Girl
(Stevie Wonder)

The track is intended as homage to the genius of Stevie Wonder.  This version creates fresh sounds of the flute, sitar, harmonica and piano. Balu Khan’s tabla and rhythm further enhance the uniqueness of the arrangement with the string section bringing a swing to the track.  Ever since I heard this song in the early 19702, I remained glued to Stevie Wonder’s heart aching melody and Quincy Jones’ arrangement soon after.  I have arranged it with both masters in mind.

02   If You Go Away/ Ne Me Quitte Pas
(Jacques Brel)

The arrangement is based on the flute that carries the sadness of the song.  Yet as the sarangi swells along with the orchestra there comes the promise of hope.  I always remember when I first heard Shirley Horn’s version and she has inspired me to make this track.

03   Moonlight In Vermont
(Karl Suessdorf/ John Blackburn)

The origins of this track may well be inspired by the U.S. State of Vermont, but in the arrangement of this well loved song I call it the Moonlight in Lahore!

04   Monsoon
(Wazir Afzal)

Monsoon is based on the classical music of South Asia.  It is inspired by raga Shankara.  All of us who made this album are deeply saddened at the death of Derek Watkins who was a great musician (trumpet, flugel) and a mentor to me.  Sachal Studios dedicates this composition in his memory.

05   The Pink Panther Theme
(Henry Mancini)

Need on say more?  At the first notes of this track the audience cheered when the Sachal Studios Orchestra played it at the Alchemy Festival (Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, April 2012.

06   Ponteio
(Edu Lobo)

Ponteio’s structure sounds close to the traditional music and songs of the Punjab.  The harmonica plays a wonderful reminiscence of Toots Thielemans in his collaboration with Edu Lobo.

07   Eleanor Rigby

An ode to loneliness.  The beauty of the arrangement is the minimal instrumentation.  It is a new take on an evergreen classic.  I was thrilled with the vigour with which the Sachal Orchestra played the original song.  The chorus is singing the ‘sargam’ known in the West as solfège (sol-fa in English).

08   Blue Rondo à La Turk
(Dave Brubeck)

A masterpiece of music.  Dave Brubeck went round the world to listen to all forms of music in different cultures and come back with global rhythms which he used uniquely to give jazz a new world.  His compositions will be eternal jazz.  Dave Brubeck was pleased with Sachal Studios’ ‘Take Five’ and sent his congratulations when it topped the charts globally.

09   Five Rivers
(Kafi Thaat)

It is composed in Kafi Thaat and carries a mix of ragas just like the five rivers of the Punjab (which translates as “Five” and “Rivers”).  A Thaat is a musical scale, conceived of as a Western musical scale might be, with the seven notes presented in their order of ascent (arohan).

10   Everybody Hurts

Sad, full of pathos, about us, not always able to deal with hurt.  The chant “Ya Rab” means O Lord.

11   Wave
(Antonio Carlos Jobim)

The arrangement of this track combines the subtle beauty of Bossa Nova with an eastern interpretation that is fresh and unique.  The flute balanced with the guitar, harmonica and piano provide a sensuousness and charm that is enhanced by the string section and the Brazilian-tinged percussion accompaniment. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s most successful album brought global success to his Bossa Nova.  Oscar Peterson’s mesmerizing interpretation and Frank Sinatra’s rendition is amazing.

12   To The End of the World
(Pat Metheny)

The sitar is a magical tribute to Pat Metheny’s guitar.  The strings of Sachal Studios are full of life.

13   Morning Has Broken

A tune composed in the Scottish Highlands became a hymn and Cat Stevens helped it to become popular.  The sarangi, sarod and the flute make it a universal hymn.

–       Izzat Majeed

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