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Carnatic Improvisations and Rock

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Title : Carnatic Improvisations and Rock
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Carnatic Improvisations and Rock

In the course of reading about South Indian music, often referred to as Carnatic music I stumbled across this:


What it reminded me of most strongly was the free-floating trio improvisations of Cream. I have always thought of their music as being blues-based though Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker thought of it as being jazz-related. But listening to this Carnatic music, I hear so many of the typical rhythmic interactions and the kind of improvisatory flow of the music as being similar to what Cream were doing. I haven't heard this mentioned anywhere, but there is a huge Indian music tradition in England and the clip above is from a large festival of South Asian music held in London every year over three months.

Eric Clapton attributes his main influence to American blues, while Ginger Baker studied African drumming and Jack Bruce was a classical cellist. But isn't it possible that they also heard a lot of South Indian music as well? Here, have a listen, don't you hear some Carnatic inflections buried inside the rock song structure from the 3 minute mark:





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