Debashish Bhattacharya and Friends: Beyond the Ragasphere (Riverboat/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Debashish Bhattacharya: Reflections Remain
 Debashish Bhattacharya and Friends: Beyond the Ragasphere (Riverboat/Southbound)

The great Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya has appeared at Elsewhere before because he not only makes hypnotic music, but that he also connects with an interesting tradition which goes back many deacdes . . . and to Hawaii.

Here -- in a disheartingly dull cover which gives no hint of its exotic contents -- he invites in some of his many international friends and fellow travellers in the musical region between East and West, people like guitarist John McLaughlin, flamenco player Adam del Monte, American jazz-funk drummer Jeff Stipe and bluegrass dobro master Jerry Douglas.

So the result is music which pays scant regard to genre and cultural divides but can be of pulse-racing intensity (Kirwani One, 5+8, Five), suggestive of the spiritual (Reflections Remain features his teenage daughter Anandi whose vocal contributions are a high point throughout) or enticingly multi-culti (Indospaniola with del Monte).

And surprisingly given the musical and emotional connections made, these guests sent their parts to Bhattacharya in Kolkata via the internet.

JD2 Pillusion is slippery Indo-jazz fusion and the closer Ode to Love is a beautiful Hawaii-cum-Calcutta meditation which, of course – because Bhattacharya plays slide – works brilliantly.

The track to start with however is the conceptual A Mystical Morning with McLaughlin which opens with ambient street sounds and gentle ripples of water before the pair and tease out an increasingly complex dialogue where Bhattacharya jangles and McLaughlin delivers fluid lines in contrast.

Two musical voices, one vision.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Laura Riz: Gypsy Soul (Arc/Elite)

Look, I have absoluely no doubt that singer Riz -- who was previously a fashion choreographer and director who sang light jazz and bossa nova -- makes music as authentically "Gypsy" as... > Read more

Mamadou Diabate: Courage (World Village)

Mamadou Diabate: Courage (World Village)

As the son of kora player N'fa Diabate who was a founder of the Instrumental Ensemble of Mali and with the great Toumani Diabate as a cousin, Mamadou was born to play the kora. For this, his... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Nikki Sixx: A very dim light (1991)

Nikki Sixx: A very dim light (1991)

To tell truth, out of the many hundreds -- indeed thousands -- of musicians I have interviewed very few have been downright stupid. Sure some fumbled for words, others said slightly... > Read more

YVES SAINT LAURENT (2013): Our man in Marrakech

YVES SAINT LAURENT (2013): Our man in Marrakech

While there's no argument about the genius of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, the jury is still out over his artwork. In my family, at least. After a visit to Jardin Majorelle in... > Read more