On his CD Lasting Impression, Brooks' devotion to jazz, blues, and Indian music comes across loud and clear. With "Taj Express," the CD's opening cut, Brooks blows warm and resonating tones over a backdrop of stinging syncopation. Brooks and his all-star band play with ease in the song's odd-metered choruses and post-bop inspired heads. As with the rest of the songs on the album, Brooks and friends make the complicated passages of "Taj Express" fly by without the slightest hint of strain.
Saxophonist George Brooks is an eclectic and genre-crossing instrumentalist with a bent toward mixing jazz fusion and Indian classical music. Born in New York City, Brooks studied with saxophonist Frank Foster before earning his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music. Beginning in the 1980s, Brooks developed an interest in Indian classical music and even traveled several times to study with master Hindustani vocalist and teacher Pandit Pran Nath.
The music of the Raga Bop Trio is an organic blend of jazz, rock, funk, afro-caribbean and Indian classical music. In this music there is the strong influence of western harmony and melody as well as U.S. grooves and Euro-jazz atmospheric feels. From the Indian side, George Brooks brings his expertise in north Indian Hindustani music and Prasanna - being from Chennai, India - is an expert in south Indian Carnatic music. I grew up with the U.S. jazz/groove concept and starting in 2002 I’ve incorporated north and south Indian rhythms into my playing. For me, the distinctive quality of the Raga Bop Trio is that the writing and playing employ a seamless amalgamation of all the individual components.
Deluxe Edition rounds up 15 highlights from Lonnie Brooks' late-'70s and '80s recordings for Alligator. Like many Alligator artists, Brooks made records that were just a little too slick to demonstrate the depth of his talents and the grittiness of his playing, yet they still remained solid, rock-inflected contemporary blues albums. The bulk of the highlights from his records are here, making it a fine introduction to Brooks' most popular recordings.