Aman Jagwani’s upcoming album,This Place, plays with the rules of modern jazz
JAZZ AND NEO soul artiste Aman Jagwani’s musical journey started when he was nine years old. “My mother enrolled me in basic piano lessons and that set off my passion,” shares the Mumbai-based composer. He also branched out and learnt to play the guitar and drums, before eventually enrolling at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. His upcoming sophomore album, The Place, brings together his diverse talents, and explores modern jazz and neo soul. It also features collaborations from all across the world.
“I started listening to jazz when I was around 15 or 16, but did not know how to appreciate it then. It was when I went to college in Boston that I really began to connect with this style of music. I found the experience of improvisation extremely exciting. The philosophy of jazz — to create, connect, innovate, inspire and break barriers — really resonated with me,” Aman tells us. His influences include Gretchen Paralato, Moonchild, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Jojo Mayer and many more.
The Place, as an album, represents the evolution of Aman’s musical arc. His first release Essentially Entangled (2019) was focused on live jazz, but this is much more than that. “This album consists of sophisticated jazz harmonies, complex but easy-to-listen-to rhythmic ideas, and lush vocal arrangements, but it is still accessible and relatable to all audiences,” he adds.
One of the main collaborators in the album is singer Anubha Kaul, who has lent her vocals for all the songs. A pianist from Assam, Ron Cha, has also worked on the album. Other artistes such as Boston-based trumpeter Jason Palmer and American flugelhorn player Milena Casado are also part of This Place.
The two singles that are already out are the title track This Place, and the emotive number Now. “This Place is about the pursuit of a ‘better place’ in life, whether it is emotional, mental or physical. The name of this song, and the album, is a play on the word ‘displace’. Even sonically, it starts in one key and after the trumpet solo displaces to another,” Aman explains. Now is about living in the present moment. The artiste adds, “In this song, I have placed several same melodies with different harmonies one after the other, and also added metric modulations that stretch and compress the tempo to play with the sense of time.”
Some of the other songs that will soon be released are Rain On My Shelter, Glow, Breakthrough and Elastic Slumber. The full album This Place will be out next month.
The songs are available on online streaming platforms