The award-winning bassist, composer, producer and arranger, Shri Sriram, releases a brand new solo album, ‘THE LETTER’, in 2020. Produced by the legendary Norwegian jazz pianist and composer, Bugge Wesseltoft, the album is released on Wesseltoft’s own label, Jazzland.
Shri Sriram’s dynamic quest for new and collaborative ways of making music has taken him all over the world. From Indian classical music to electronica, from trip hop to jazz, from musical theatre to film scores, Shri’s superb musicianship and positive vibes are in constant demand from fellow musicians and producers, presenters and audiences everywhere. He and Bugge have long shared an enthusiasm for new and collaborative ways of making music and ‘THE LETTER’ is the culmination of many happy hours of talking, walking, cooking and playing music.
“’THE LETTER’ is actually dedicated to the great German electric upright bass player Eberhard Weber, who wrote me a letter after listening to a demo I made for him in 1993,” says Shri. “Eberhard’s letter was so inspiring; it helped me to focus on my musical approach in very specific ways and gave me reason and strength to continue on the path I was developing.
“We’ve got some amazing musicians on the album: Norwegian double bass player Arild Andersen, the Italian jazz drummer Paolo Vinaccia, who sadly passed away this year, Norwegian saxophonist Tore Brunborg and my old friend and collaborator, the award winning clarinettist and saxophonist Ben Castle on bass clarinet.”
After a headline grabbing performance by Badmarsh & Shri at Soria Moria festival in Oslo, festival director Alexandra Stolen of Oslo World Music festival introduced Shri to Bugge Wesseltoft. The two musicians hit it off immediately and went straight to Bugge’s studio where they jammed and wrote five new tracks together, along with Per Martinsen. The tracks became the music for an international tour of a collaborative project, produced by Oslo World and Alexandra, which they named Ragatronics. Bugge then expressed interest in producing a solo album for Shri in which Shri could focus on his unique style of bass playing and his melodic musicality. “It took about four years to get together as we were both really busy and I wanted to be absolutely sure about what music I wanted to record for this very special album,” says Shri.
The result is ‘THE LETTER’ which was recorded partly in Bugge’s studio in his cabin in the mountains of Norway and partly at Shri’s own studio in London.
released January 31, 2020
Shri: Electric fretless bass, bowed bass, bass percussion, tabla & bansuri (Indian flute)
Bugge Wesseltoft: Fender Rhodes, Synthesizers
Paolo Vinaccia: Drum kit
Arild Andersen: Double bass
Tore Brunborg: Saxophone
Ben Castle: Bass clarinet
Produced by Bugge Wesseltoft
Recorded at Buggesroom (Oslo)
and Drum The Bass studios (London)
Mixed by Ulf Holand
Mastered by Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering
Cover photo by Fridtjof Wesseltoft
Sleeve photo Glenn Foster
Wow. Bugge's work on Lugubrious Youth just conjures the spirit of Esbjorn so tangibly that I am a wreck every time I listen. But, while I still feel incredibly raw and angry about his death over 11 years ago, there is a sense of peace and even resolution to be found in this beautiful music - I hope it's the same for Magnus and Dan. Saw them in Manchester on this tour and so delighted to have this document. ALB