Even in times of lockdown and isolation, musicians simply can’t rest. If you are creative, you just have to express that creativity. And if you usually work within the realm of a band or more than yourself and your friends and family, you need other musicians to come along on that ride. You just have to find a way to get around all the restrictions.
Sunny Jain is a part of New York’s multi-genre (dance) band Red Baraat that puts an accent on Bhangra/Indian music-infused rhythms and melodies, combined with R&B, hip-hop, or anything else that fits their fancy at the moment.
To remain in creative shape, Jain went about crafting his solo excursion, Phoenix Rise. Even during these crazy times he was able to bring along a serious lineup of over fifty musicians for the ride. The cast includes seemingly everybody Jain knows, from jazz pianist Vijay Iver, to jam band specialist Joe Russo.
The danger with such large and diverse casts is that you can quickly get a disparate, disjointed sound that is all over the place. Luckily though, Jain obviously had a single-minded, unified vision that he was able to tie up smoothly as if that is an effortless thing to do. That unifying factor seems to be Jain’s musical roots that run from the Indian sub-continent and that give Phoenix Rise that specific element that makes it stand out.
But to give the project even more significance, all the players decided to forgo their royalties to various significant charities, including the Center For Constitutional Rights.
But most importantly, it is the quality of the music that makes Sunny Jain’s Phoenix Rise project stand out.