The Sachal Orchestra have released this preview piece from their second album ‘Jazz and All That’ – due to be released next month. Maybe it’s the accordion/ flute action, but seems to us this would be your soundtrack of choice if you were walking down a Parisian boulevard thinking of an epic love lost in the green hills of India.
In case you missed the chatter about the Orchestra from a couple of years ago, here’s a recap. The Sachal Orchestra (pronounced such-chal) shot to fame in 2011 when a BBC video report about them went viral (see that here), and their first album ‘Sachal Jazz’, featuring a smash hit interpretation of Dave Brubeck’s ‘Take Five’, went to No. 1 in the iTunes UK and US jazz charts.
The Orchestra was thought up by Izzat Majeed – a millionaire philanthropist based in London – who built a state of the art studio for it in Lahore. His aim was to bring back Pakistan’s master musicians, many of whom had been forced out of work due to the steady collapse of Pakistan’s film industry in the 1980s. Sachal’s cello player was found running a tea stall, while other musicians had turned to selling clothes or electrical parts. Violinist Mubarak Ali was selling vegetables from his bicycle, and earning barely £2 a day (see Declan Walsh’s 2011 Guardian article on the Orchestra here). Majeed has said: “You have to remember these are people who worked with great ustads and belong to famous gharanas. They were respected and given patronage but almost overnight, things changed for them during the era of (late military dictator) Zia-ul-Haq.”
Here’s ‘Everybody Hurts (Ya Rab)’ and ‘Take Five’ straight after.
UPDATE: For those of you who are in Pakistan and can’t access the YouTube links, here it is on Vimeo.