Mastering The Art Of Fusion In ‘Better Than Sax’ By Darshan Doshi & Mark Hartsuch

Musical collaborations have always sparked unique and intriguing sounds that have stayed in the listeners’ memory for days. The album “Better Than Sax” by Darshan Doshi and Mark Hartsuch is one such contemporary collaboration that has caught the interest of music enthusiasts. This talented group has created a musical masterpiece that transcends genres by fusing the drums’ complex rhythms with the saxophone’s heartfelt melodies.

Madhulika Gupta | BeatCurry Team


Darshan Doshi started playing the drums at the extraordinarily young age of two. His early instruction included learning basic drumming skills and exploring Indian patterns. At just 26 months, Darshan graced one of his father’s concerts, marking an incredible accomplishment that inducted him into the Limca Books of Records in 1997. He started performing in Bollywood with playback singers and composers when he was 18. It was undoubtedly the start of his role in forming the group in 2006 for the famed trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. 

In the years that followed, Darshan’s drumming skills were featured in several Bollywood films, including “Rock On,” “Luck by Chance,” “Black,” “My Name Is Khan,” and “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.” He had the privilege of founding the Coke Studio India house band in 2010 and working with renowned folk musicians and composers like Amit Trivedi, Hitesh Sonik, Salim-Sulaiman, and Mame Khan. He has recorded drums & percussion for many Bollywood films with music directors like A.R.Rahman, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Amit Trivedi, Salim-Sulaiman, Vishal Shekhar, Pritam, Monty Sharma, Sandesh Sandhaliya, Ranjit Barot, Selva Ganesh, Sachin Jigar, M M Kreem & Amaal Malik, and tours with Salim Sulaiman, Farhan Live, Adnan Sami & Amit Trivedi.

Mark Hartsuch is a multifaceted musician with many roles in the music business. Maintaining a creative edge while juggling various music roles is a challenging task. But Mark’s close relationship with the saxophone has served as his musical north star. Mark has a remarkable mastery of the saxophone’s tone range and can effortlessly produce soft legatos, staccatos, and velvety vibratos. He is most well known for working with India’s top music director, AR Rahman, both in live performance and studio productions. His other collaborations include Ranjit Barot, Mohini Dey, Mr. Eazi, Cece Winans, Bebe Winans, TV networks such as Disney and AE, and others. His musical expressions swing between jubilant crescendos that soar to heavenly heights and soft decrescendos that envelop the listener’s soul with profound compassion throughout the album.

The close connection that Darshan Doshi and Mark Hartsuch have set “Better Than Sax” apart from other musical projects. In a recent interview, Mark speaks of how they were introduced at a Jesus Molina concert, and from that point on, it became a tornado of inspiration. Mark wrote five songs for their collaboration in 16 hours, a testament to their exceptional chemistry. Their record stands apart from the current music scene thanks to a special fusion of jazz and electronic components. The saxophone and drums’ natural improvisation and the production tracks create a resonating, real, and expansive experience.


Listen to Better Than Sax by Darshan Doshi and Mark Hartsuch on Spotify:

Legacy Makers

A Pinnacle of Introduction: The album’s opening song, “Legacy Makers,” takes center stage in the musical introduction to “Better Than Sax.” This piece is a spectacular introduction that lays the groundwork for the subsequent auditory adventure. “Legacy Makers” begins as a beautiful prologue, enticing listeners into the hypnotic universe of the album with a seamless blend of Mark Hartsuch’s saxophone skill and Darshan Doshi’s rhythmic talent on the drums. The unmatched precision with which drums and saxophone worked in unison, along with noteworthy melodic and rhythmic phrases, uptempo groove, and unique chords, created a perfect recipe for an energetic listening experience.

Highs and Lows

A Harmonious Dichotomy: The second exciting chapter of this musical story, “Highs and Lows,” achieves a perfect harmony between the groovy and the ethereal. This song showcases the dramatic interplay between Mark Hartsuch’s mastery of the saxophone and Darshan Doshi’s mastery of the drums. As the title implies, it navigates the ever-fluctuating tides of musical expression and takes listeners on a sound trip that includes both jubilant peaks and reflective valleys. In “Highs and Lows,” the saxophone and drums have a lively discussion, creating a pleasing contrast that enthralls the senses.


A Resonant Rebirth: The album’s bright centerpiece, “Neogenesis,” elevates it to a different level and gives it a unique flavor. The saxophone and drums’ symbiotic relationship achieves its pinnacle in this work, giving rise to a musical renaissance that awakens the listener’s senses. A creative and vibrant musical composition comes to life thanks to the skillful blending of Mark Hartsuch’s saxophone melodies and Darshan Doshi’s rhythmic tapestry. “Neogenesis” captures the spirit of renewal by introducing a new sonic environment and showcasing the full range of these two excellent instruments.

Old School

A Nostalgic Reverie: As the song’s title suggests, “Old School” honors a bygone era and evokes nostalgia in the style of the late Kenny G and his classic tunes. This song’s nostalgia takes listeners back to when millennials were growing up. Drums and saxophones work together to construct a tapestry of vintage sounds under Darshan Doshi’s and Mark Hartsuch’s expert hands, bringing back feelings and memories of the music’s golden age. “Old School” is proof of the timeless allure of music that endures through generations. 

After the Gig

A Finale of Unbridled Energy: “After the Gig,” the music that will cap off this amazing aural journey, promises to be the apex of any live performance. It is the album’s standout track thanks to its unlimited energy and infectious rhythms. The track incorporated many free flowing musical passages, runs, odd-times and smooth landings of various chord tones! The track certainly has a sense of conclusion, leaving a resounding mark that resonates long after the final notes have faded.

In “Better Than Sax,” Darshan Doshi and Mark Hartsuch masterfully fused the realms of drums and saxophone, crafting an album that is not just a collection of songs but a captivating journey of musical emotions and experiences. Each track showcases their unparalleled synergy and musical prowess, promising a timeless and transformative auditory adventure.


Listen to Better Than Sax by Darshan Doshi and Mark Hartsuch on Spotify:

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