Soul’d debuts their high-energy sound with self-titled debut single “Soul’d. The new single “Soul’d” debuts on three "most added" radio lists, introducing a new Funk/Smooth Jazz trio of the same name. Soul’d, the band, features GRAMMY®-nominated composer and producer Arun Shenoy, internationally-acclaimed flautist Ravichandra Kulur, and groove master Duke Purisima. Their new style of high-energy music has been dubbed “Bansuri Funk.”
What do you call a song that crosses Funk with Smooth Jazz, while also turning traditional instrumentation on its ear? That was the challenge facing producer and composer Arun Shenoy, internationally-acclaimed flautist Ravichandra Kulur and groove master Duke Purisima, who formed their trio, Soul’d, in early 2014. Their vision? To merge their diverse influences into a fresh and high-energy contemporary instrumental sound. As the mixes of “Soul’d” (Narked Records, 2014) evolved, the single so clearly captured their combined vision for the trio that Purisima suggested an eponymous debut.
Purisima laughed softly as he explained “We were working on several tracks, but this one really stood out as a perfect example of where we want to go with our music. ‘Soul’d’ captures what we are all about, so I suggested we take the name for our new band, too. You’ve got to feel pretty strongly about a piece to let it stand for you and your band.”
Kulur, an in-demand flautist who performed extensively with the late Pandit Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka Shankar, coaxes a whole new sound out of his Indian classical flute, which takes the place of the saxophone or trumpet leads normally heard in Smooth Jazz. Another favourite of Shenoy’s, GRAMMY®- nominated arranger Don Hart, teamed up with the trio, recording the live horn orchestration for “Soul’d” in Nashville. Listening to final mixes inspired the stylistic term Bansuri Funk, referring to the trio’s innovative jazz/funk approach and the traditional Indian bamboo flute, the Bansuri.
Shenoy comments “This new take on things was something I envisioned after working with Ravi on ‘Bliss’. I was instantly taken by the clarity of his playing style, and high-paced fingering techniques, for which he is quite well known by music-lovers and critics alike. I wondered how it would sound to explore all of that in a more East-meets-West jazz funk fusion, and so we went for it.”
Their efforts have been well received. In an early review, Stephen Smoliar of Examiner.com writes “There is a strong element of funk in their tune; but what raises this modest recording above the ordinary is the thoroughly impressive flute work from Kulur, whose intonation goes boldly beyond the confines of the traditional Western equal-tempered chromatic scale.”
The names Shenoy, Purisima and Kulur may ring a bell among World Fusion fans, as the three artists collaborated on Shenoy’s “Bliss”, an Indian World Fusion single that was launched by the Recording Academy via a worldwide “Exclusive First Look” feature at GRAMMY.com in 2013. While Purisima has worked with Shenoy before on the latter’s projects, Kulur and Shenoy met more recently when discovering online that they both hailed from the same district along India’s Western coast.
Art director Roshni Mohapatra lends her unique creative vision for the project’s packaging and visual aspect of the music, which has been brought to life by Rich Lock at Devolution Designs in the UK.
Radio promotion is being handled by Gorov Music Marketing; the week of August 25th, “Soul’d” debuted on the "Most Added" Lists of Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart as tracked by Nielsen BDS, SmoothJazz.com and also the Groove Jazz Music Chart.