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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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Rumbadoodle
By Arun Shenoy
Label: Arun Shenoy Music Publishing
Released 8/30/2012
Rumbadoodle tracks
1. Rumbadoodle
2. My Ballad Days
3. Prance
4. Rock and Rigmarole
5. The Violin Song
6. Fireflies
7. Blue Sky Happiness Part 1
8. Blue Sky Happiness Part 2
9. Sleepy Town
10. Wanderlust in Keys
11. Rhythem of the Sun
Not So Cute
I do not like cute. Cute anything. So when I got Arun Sheroy's latest album, Rumbadoodle with the cute title, I thought, oh boy. Nevertheless, every album that comes to my door gets a listen, and now I have to forgive the cute album title because the music is amazing. The recording is eleven tracks of Flamenco guitar and world fusion tunes mixed with some contemporary elements that make it a great listen. One wonders how a guy from India falls in love with Flamenco music, but that is the very nature of music. When it touches you, the source and circumstances does not matter. You get smitten.

Arun Shenoy, a GRAMMY-nominated songwriter now based in Singapore, started out as a rocker and some of the tunes on this album reflect that, but not in a dominant way, just the percussion at times. The album begins with the eponymous title Rumbadoodle, a spirited song that gets the feet tapping and the heart racing. All of the songs feature an exuberant, carefree, gypsy style that celebrates life in a most positive way.

The Violin Song is just what it implies with an exhilarating beat and a melody that can go all night long. I would not know how to dance to this; I do know I could not keep still. This is a song that teases and cajoles, making you want to join in the rhythms. Great violin played by Ian Cameron.

Fireflies reminded me of a Yanni performance or something from Benise. I say that because it is the kind of song where I know I would enjoy watching it being performed. High-energy guitar and staccato percussion lets me know that everyone involved, including myself, is having a good time.

Blue Sky Happiness Parts 1 & 2 are equally enjoyable. Part 1 starts out with a warm guitar intro and changes into a moody Progressive Rock piece like something heard on Jefferson Starship's Crown of Creation album and for that, I loved it. Perhaps the sky started out gray that day, and Part 2 more than makes up for that. The sun shines brightly and the heavens take on that azure hue that promises fair skies. This had a brilliant, but unexpected piano lead courtesy of Lonnie Park and a grooving bass line by Ramil Duke Purisima. It was one of the highlights of the recording.

Wanderlust in Keys is a musical night out on the town. Lots of stars, lots of wine, and the heady warmth of a summer night combine with a carnivalesque tune that brings light to the darkness. This terrific song, despite its Latin roots, could easily become a jazz masterpiece. I never really heard jazz and Flamenco combined like this before, but what an anthem for World fusion addicts.

The final cut on Rumbadoodle is called Rhythm of the Sun and features Arun’s elaborate guitar work in a tune that praises sunny days in the country, at the beach or on the playground of your mind. It is a tuneful goodbye to a festival of sound that praises life and living to the fullest each day.
I was surprised at the production values that Arun Shenoy was able to achieve on his debut album. It sounds to me like he got it all right on the first take so to speak. His history shows that the production process fascinates him and his attention to detail shows. His music is a clever fusion of several genres that when, shaken out, tend to add up to great musical flavor.
Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 11/22/2013
 
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