Asha Puthli (best pronounced PUT-LEE, as in "put that away") is one of the most successful vocalists ever to come out of India. Perhaps best known for her stirring vocals on free jazz legend Ornette Coleman's Science Fiction album, Asha is a cosmopolitan pioneer of jazz, funk, soul and electronic dance music who has recorded ten solo albums for labels like EMI and CBS/Sony.
Trained in Indian classical singing and a natural jazz improviser, Asha Puthli created her own unique sound in the 1970s - soft, slinky, sexy, meditative, and chilled out. Captured on classic recordings like "Space Talk" and "Say Yes," that distinctively cool sound prefigured the entire rise of acid jazz and ambient dance music.
Today, as Asha Puthli prepares to release new material, her songs are being rediscovered by legions of hip-hop, neo-soul, nu-jazz, and electronica fans.Born and raised in Bombay, Asha emigrated to the United States to pursue jazz.
Upon her arrival, Asha was championed by Columbia Records impresario John Hammond, who had forged a brilliant career discovering acts like Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Hammond sent her to record with avant-garde pioneer Ornette Coleman, and her performances on his arresting Science Fiction album garnered her the highly prestigious Downbeat Critics' Poll award for "best female jazz vocalist," alongside Ella Fitzgerald and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Historian Robert Palmer gushed about Asha's sound: "A sound like Raga meeting Aretha Franklin, Miss Puthli's singing is . . . extraordinary."Asha is staging a major comeback with a jazz album, her first solo recording project in nearly fifteen years.
She is also completing a remix project of her classic songs, and in 2006 will be appearing live for the first time in years in major US and European venues.
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