Apr 7, 2015
Way back in Podcast 175 I introduced my audience to Sachal Vasandani, a singer, songwriter and musician of elegance and style. Three albums later the last name is gone, and there is a new label, but that wonderful voice remains.
Now going simply by Sachal, his latest CD is entitled Slow Motion Miracles, and it takes Sachal new and different places musically. Gone is the traditional jazz sound that was presented so strongly by an acoustic trio sparked by pianist Jeb Patton, and in their place are a variety of artists, including Taylor Eigsti on keyboards and synthesizers, Gerald Clayton on piano, Ryan Scott on guitars, Buster Hemphill on electric bass, David Wong (a hold-over from the old band) on acoustic bass, Nate Smith on drums, and Mark Guiliana on drums and drum machines. With Sachal on vocals, keyboard parts, programming and electronics, these multi-talented musicians contribute short accents, subtle colors and understated grooves within the multilayered songs, many of which Sachal wrote or co-wrote.
The result, frankly, is a mixed bag. The space that his previous band left for him in the arrangements seems lost here, cluttered with electronica, perhaps due to the influence of producer Michael Leonhart. The sense of openness and freedom that resulted from that prior approach allowed Sachal to bring across both joy and angst with equal power. Here, only a few tunes, most notably “Waiting on the Roof” are enhanced by the new sound. When he returns to a stripped down approach for his cover of “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)”, his strength and presence is in full force.
I spoke with Sachal about his new CD, his musical approaches, and the many projects he has had a hand in over the past few years. Musical selections include tracks from Slow Motion Miracles such as “”Marie “Waiting on the Roof” and “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” as well as “Doves” from the Home project to benefit victims of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.