Rupa & the April Fishes presenting her new album Oval at The Jazz Cafe, London
Crafted with the notion that big things often have tiny roundish beginnings, OVAL is a sensuous collection of string quartet arrangements of music by composer and vocalist Rupa, as she returns to the intimate nature of her songwriting after 9 years of leading global alternative outfit Rupa & the April Fishes.
Working together with composer/arranger Mark Orton (Tin Hat, composer for film Nebraska), the songs lay bare the raw lyricism of Rupa’s melodies while adding the rhythmic and harmonic depth of Orton’s arrangements, which were rendered impeccably by Grammynominated Quartet San Francisco and producer/bassist Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Andrew Bird).
Listenable and approachable, the songs included on OVAL showcase the dynamic range of Rupa’s songwriting, with compositions in French, English and Hindi and styles as diverse as waltz, tango, sea shanty, ghazal, and folk rock all cohesively brought together by Orton’s cinematic approach and the singular warmth of Rupa’s voice. The collection includes a timeless version of Rupa’s tantalizing slow milonga written in honor of the urge to merge, “Maintenant,” a heart-rending recording of a love song in a time of loss, “Wishful Thinking,” and a haunting cover of classic ghazal “Woh Kagaz Ki Kashti” by the late Jagjit Singh.
In addition to collaborator Todd Sickafoose, who produced OVAL with Rupa and the last Rupa & the April Fishes release BUILD (2012), the lineup on this album includes the Quartet San Francisco, JHNO on duduk, Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Allison Miller on drums, Jonathan Goldberger and Adam Levy on guitar, Rob Reich on accordion and Prasant Radhakrishnan on carnatic saxophone.
THE JAZZ CAFE