Wizardly percussionist Trilok Gurtu knows more than most musicians about the true meaning of fusion. It's not a dirty word or an empty style posture for Gurtu, but a way of being, for a musician trained in classical tradition but happily flung into a wide world of jazz, rock, and sundry western influences. Kathak (Mintaka 1073; 46:37), from Trilok Gurtu and his group, The Glimpse, is all over the map, in a kindly, mostly musical way. Gurtu has no compunctions about crossing over idiomatic borders
Arriving four years after 2012's I Bet on Sky – the longest stretch of time between albums since Dinosaur Jr. became an active band again in 2007 – Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't offer any surface surprises, at least not along the lines of the roaring reunion of 2007's Beyond, or the keyboard colorings of I Bet on Sky. That's not to say Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not doesn't surprise, because it does – namely, it shocks by sounding as vital as Dinosaur Jr. ever has. Deciding to not to build upon the expansive textures of I Bet on Sky, the trio nevertheless sounds vividly oversaturated throughout Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not.
Call it an aggregation of some of the best contemporary percussionists: Trilok Gurtu, Zakir Hussain, and Asian Underground star Talvin Singh combine under the sonic washes of producer Bill Laswell to show the possibilities of Indian percussion. It's definitely a beatfest, but one of subtlety, where what is being said isn't as important as the way it's being stated, and the dialogue between hands includes a lot of silences. Gurtu comes from a more jazz tradition, Hussein a classical background, and Singh represents the brash young things of the dance floor. Mostly Laswell leaves it to them to provide the sonic entertainment, which is as it should be with delicate swathes of sound barely intruding, just coloring the proceedings. While it's not for everyone, those who love Indian percussion in all its forms will find this album a complete joy.