Magic Carpet

Band members               Related acts

- Clem Alford - sitar, esray, tambora (1971 and 1996)

- Pandit Dinesh - tabla (1996)

- Jim Moyes - guitar (1971)

- Keshav Sathe - tabla, percussion (1971 and 1996)

- Alisha Sufit - vocals, guitar (1971 and 1996)


- Clem Alford (solo efforts)

- Sagram (Clem Alford, Jim Moyes and Keshav Sathe)

- Alisha Sufit (solo efforts



Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Magic Carpet

Company: Mushroom

Catalog: 200 MR

Year: 1972

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $350.00


Here's a rarity - an album that actually lives up to most of the hype surrounding it ...  That said, I'll start this out with a warning.  Anyone expecting a slice of classic 'stoned-out-of-our-minds'  folk-cum-psych is going to be disappointed by this album.


Here's the biographical information I can piece together.  Classically trained sitar player Clem Alford, guitarist Jim Moyes and tabla player Keshav Sathe released an early-1970s' instrumental album under the name Sagram.   Specializing in Indian-related releases, the small Mushroom label offered the band a chance to record another album, provided they'd add a singer to the line up.  Moyes promptly suggest former college friend/singer/guitarist Alisha Sufit.  With Sufit in the band and now known as Magic Carpet, in late 1971 the quartet went into the recording studio with producer Vic Keary.  Released the following year, "Magic Carpet" is  certainly different.  I've seen comparisons to Joni Mitchell and the Incredible String Band (not a bad comparison), but propelled by Sufit's high and fragile voice (if not always on key), to my ears a more appropriate comparison would be Sandy Denny-era Fairport Convention had they been hijacked to record in India.  Featuring all original material (Sufit contributing about half of the 12 tracks) the set offered up an intriguing blend of English folk and Indian genres.  Very low-keyed and calming (forget Ridilin when you have this on the turntable), tracks such as 'Phoenix', 'Black Cat' and 'Harvest Song' showcased Sufit's attractive voice, while the title track and 'Alan's Christmas Card' offered up a series of equally attractive Eastern-flavored instrumentals.  Financially strapped Mushroom only pressed 1,000 copies of the LP and offered the quartet little in the way of promotional support.  The band managed to struggle through a handful of live appearances, including London's 100 Club and some radio work, but faced with total public indifference, they called it quits within a year. 


"Magic Carpet" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) The Magic Carpet (instrumental)  (Clem Alford - Keshav Sathe - Jim Moyes) - 

2.) Phoenix   (Alisha Sufit) - 

3.) Black Cat   (Alisha Sufit) - 

4.) Alan's Christmas Card   (Clem Alford - Keshav Sathe - Jim Moyes) - 

5.) Harvest Song   (Alisha Sufit) - 


(side 2)

1.) Do You Hear the Words   (Clem Alford - Keshav Sathe - Jim Moyes) - 

2.) Father Time   (Alisha Sufit - Clem Alford - Keshav Sathe - Jim Moyes) - 

3.) Peace Song   (Alisha Sufit) - 

4.) Take Away   (Kesh - Clem Alford - Keshav Sathe - Jim Moyes) - 

5.) High Street   (Alisha Sufit) - 

6.) The Dream   (Alisha Sufit) - 


Both Alford and Sufit reappeared with solo works.



Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Once Moor

Company: Magic Carpet 

Catalog: MC 1004

Counry/State: UK

Year: 1996

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: UK pressing

Available: SOLD


Price: SOLD



In 1994 the original LP was reissued on CD and some two decades after they first recorded together three of the four original members reunited for a follow-on album.  Although Sathe quickly dropped out of the reunion, Alford and Sufit decided to resume their partnership.  With the addition of tabla player Pandit Dinesh the trio released 1996's "Once Moor" on their own Magic Carpet label.  Technically the album was credited to Magic Carpet II, but as on the debut Sufti remained the creative focal point, credited with penning nine of the ten tracks.  Sufti also produced the LP, handled all of the vocals and contributed the cover art.  Alford wrote the title track instrumental.  At least to my ears Sufti's voice hadn't changed a great deal.  Perhaps slightly deeper, it remained a pretty instrument and still reminded me a little of the late Sandy Denny.  Blending English folk and Indian instrumentation, material such as 'Thanks Be', 'Let It Go' and 'Feast Your Eyes' wasn't a major departure from their debut.  All told a nice comeback, though it did little commercially


"Once Moor" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Bean To Sea   (Alisha Sufti) - 

2.) Thanks Be   (Alisha Sufti) - 

3.) All the Sins of Man   (Alisha Sufti) - 

4.) Let It Go   (Alisha Sufti) - 

5.) Feast Your Eyes   (Alisha Sufti) - 


(side 2)

1.) Understand   (Alisha Sufti - Clem Alford) - 

2.) The Little Seed   (Alisha Sufti) - 

3.) See the Man   (Alisha Sufti) - 

4.) Once Moor (instrumental)   (Clem Alford) - 

5.) Bean To Sea   (Alisha Sufti) - 


In case anyone cares, you can see some of Suftit's artwork at:



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