In 2011, Max Clouth released his first solo CD. Titled simply “Guitar”, it presents his distinctive approach to Spanish, Indian, and Baroque music, all arranged for and performed on solo acoustic guitar. Featuring music recorded in distant Mumbai, which had attracted the guitarist from Frankfurt who, having been fascinated by John McLaughlin’s bands Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, sought to plunge deeper into the world of Ragas and Talas of Indian classical music. The Times of India praised the 23-minute long album as “great fusion”; The composer’s take: “Western music with an Indian vibe”, which he now tries to take to higher spheres through his electric Max Clouth Clan.
“Return Flight” is the title of that quartet’s first album, a title that has multiple meanings for Clouth – literally flying, escape and all it implies, back and forth. The central theme: Being in motion.
Precisely that describes “Return Flight”, just like “Guitar” before it – though in this band context with bassist Timothy Roth (substituted by Markus Wach for the tour) und drummer Martin Standke, along with exceptional studio guests like T.L. Mazumdar (keyboards and vocals), Shruti Ramani (vocals on “Noon Tune”), Michael Wahab (tabla), percussionist Ziya Tabassian (Riq), Jason Schneider (on trumpet and flugelhorn – ethereal-Nordic like Nils Petter Molvær), and Christopher Herrmann. His cello can be heard in the finale of the album, “Sanjus Waltz”, dedicated to Clouths young daughter, whose laughter opens the lullaby – a Baroque-seeming waltz, swinging like Gypsy jazz and with Clouth scatting along to his guitar lines. The groovy “Disco Stu” (“Not to be taken too seriously”) is a bit of an indulgence on Clouth’s part on a listen-only album like “Return Flight”. “Kusadasi Kelim” is no less of a surprise, named in fact after a carpet and animimated by Turkish art music, with which Clouth became familiar through the Baglama virtuoso Deniz Köseoglu.
“Return Flight”: Soulful music whose spirit will touch listeners from all over the world.