Leader and guitarist for Garaj Mahal, Fareed Haque sets out with The Flat Earth Ensemble to explore reflective, instrumental territory on the engaging release, Flat Planet.
A mix of Eastern rhythms and jazz, Flat Planet begins with the open, inviting 10-minute opus, "Big Bhangra." Haque’s fleet-fingered style on guitar overwhelms the improvisational peaks and valleys of "Uneven Mantra." With bassists John Paul and Alex Austin teaming up with drummers Cory Healy and Jason Smart, the loose vibes and cool impressionism of "Blu Hindoo" and "The Chant" draw a sharp focus. Salar Nader’s tabla work and Kalyan Pathak’s sticked percussion mix nicely alongside the deft keyboard fills of Rob Clearfield and Willerm Dellsfort on "Bengali Bud" and "Fur Peace."
Produced by Haque, Flat Planet is more of an ensemble piece than an individual spotlight, bringing some of the best players in jazz and jam together for a delectable, organic musical stew that drills itself deeply into the mind and soul of the listener.
Flat Planet is out now on Owl Studios.