Jimi Prasad was already a notoriously reclusive session musician — legendary in underground jazz and psychedelic music scenes for his blinding creativity — until he all but disappeared. For years, even his former bandmates couldn’t track him down. In rare moments, he’d resurface for a lecture on existentialism at a European university or release transcendental meditations on cassette tape — but otherwise, he was a man in the wind. “I’d heard lots of stories about this guy, but all I could track down were some low-quality bootlegs of his shows from the ‘70s,” says trumpeter Avishai Cohen, who bonded with his musical partner, Tel Aviv-based beatmaker and keyboardist Yuvi “Rejoicer” Havkin, over a shared curiosity about Prasad. And then, there he was. “He was sitting at the back of a bar in Stockholm, sipping a whiskey really slowly, scribbling notes on a napkin,” remembers Havkin. “I had to pinch myself.” Conversations sparked, interests piqued, and in mid-2019 Jimi Prasad, Avishai Cohen, and Yuvi Havkin set to work building an orchestra to capture their shared vision of music, magic, and mystery.
A deliberate process birthed Help With Your Heart, the first album from Jimi Prasad Orchestra, featuring 12 tracks of gorgeous, mesmerizing music unlike anything these three had created in the past. Between 2019 and 2022, the newly minted trio assembled a small army of musicians from their home base in Tel Aviv and around the world to form Jimi Prasad Orchestra. Slowly but surely, the timeless, cosmic and classical-influenced sound of the Orchestra came into focus. With time on their side, the Orchestra “put so much effort behind each note,” says Havkin. “If a note is higher than the previous note, or if it’s the same note, or if it’s a half step up, we always asked why.” In writing sessions and then in the studio, “the whole atmosphere was ceremonial,” says Cohen. “The search for the right sounds took real concentration. We didn’t need substances, or candles; Jimi provided everything we needed.”
Recommended Tracks: 5, 2, 6
Label: Raw Tapes
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