Magic Carpet made just one album in the early 1970s, the self-titled Magic Carpet, which fused Indian ragas and singer/songwriter folk in a manner suggestive of Joni Mitchell playing with the Incredible String Band. Three of the four musicians -- sitarist Clem Alford, guitarist Jim Moyes, and tabla player Keshav Sathe -- had issued a previous album on Windmill under the name Sagram (a misspelling of their actual name, Sargam). They were given the opportunity to record an album for the Mushroom label in Britain in the early '70s, providing they added a singer. Moyes recruited an acquaintance of his from the Chelsea School of Art, Alisha Sufit, to complete the lineup.
Singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist Sufit (going simply by the name of Alisha on the record) dominated the vocals on the LP with her easygoing compositions, bearing a strong songwriting and vocal resemblance to very early Joni Mitchell, with far more distant echoes of contemporary British folk singers such as Sandy Denny. Alford (sitar, esraj, tamboura), Moyes (electric guitar), and Sathe (tabla, percussion) provided the backup, getting deeper into Indian ragas on the LP's instrumentals. Pressed in an edition of only one thousand copies, the LP became a rare collectable, reissued on CD in the '90s. Magic Carpet did a few gigs and radio broadcasts, but disbanded after less than a year. Under the name Magic Carpet II, Sufit and Alford, working with two musicians not on board the first time around, released a very similar album, Once Moor, in 1996. Sufit and Alford have also made solo records. ~ Richie Unterberger