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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Kronos Quartet & Asha Bhusle

KRONOS QUARTET AND ASHA BHUSLE: You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood

SDCityBeat, 11.2.05

Goes Well With: Phillip Glass, R.D. Burman, a night at the indie cineplex

Bollywood isn’t the place grandpa’s string quartet would go to find their latest inspiration. But it is the sort of sexy otherworld that lures the Kronos Quartet, whose newest effort brings a passionate, amorous flair to the music of Bollywood’s greatest composer, R.D. Burman.

The Kronos Quartet—the most recognizable string quartet in the world due to their work with Philip Glass—experiments with nearly every music genre and here their versatility shines as much as their already-proven virtuoso skills. Famed Bollywood singer Asha Bhusle provides the album’s vocals, yet beyond an organist and percussionist, the quartet’s ability to adapt their traditional instruments to the tonal sounds required for an authentic feel (particularly from violinists David Harrington and John Sherba) is stunning.

You’ve Stolen My Heart offers the suspense and intrigue far beyond any Bollywood film. Each song holds true to Burman’s original intent, and each shows why his scores should be regarded as more than just background noise for cliché dance sequences.