Friday, July 11, 2014

Guitar Virtuoso Warren Cuccurullo and Indian Sarangi Master, Ustad Sultan Khan team for "The Master"

The Master is a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between guitar virtuoso Warren Cuccurullo and legendary, Indian sarangi master, Ustad Sultan Khan.

Khan, who passed away in 2011, is considered the greatest sarangi (a bowed, short-necked stringed instrument that figures prominently in Hindustani music) player of modern times. He performed with Ravi Shankar, composed for Bollywood blockbusters and was a member of Bill Laswell’s East/West supergroup, Tabla Beat Science.

Cuccurullo came to prominence at a young age, recording and touring as a guitar wunderkind with Frank Zappa, most notably performing all of the rhythm guitar parts on the Joe’s Garage albums. He also was a founding member of New Wave hit makers Missing Persons and, most recently, has been a member of Duran Duran, co-writing some of their most
famous songs, including “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone.”

These two very different players met through Cuccurullo’s passion for Indian music and collaborated in 1998 during two days of duet sessions that featured Cuccurullo’s beautiful and textural ambient guitar loops and Khan’s sweeping sarangi playing and vocals. The recordings were never released, however, until after Khan’s passing, when Cuccurullo uncovered the outdated, 24-track Tascam tapes. While bass and drums were added in 2014, no changes have been made to the original guitar and sarangi parts, as Cuccurullo had no intention of changing the magic that occurred over those original sessions.

Since he was given his first sitar when visiting Frank Zappa in 1977, Indian music has circulated throughout Warren Cuccurullo’s life, predominantly as a fan, occasionally as a player. With the release of The Master, Cuccurullo is the same age that Khan was when they sat together in his London apartment sixteen years ago. The rest, as they say, is history… one that we can listen to now, for the first time. ~ Six Degrees Records

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