Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

 |   |  <1 min read

Debashish Bhattacharya: Prema Chakor
Debashish Bhattacharya: Calcutta Slide Guitar (Elite)

Three years ago I chose the Mahima album by Bhattacharya and American guitarist Bob Brozman (who played at Womad that year) as one of the best of the year in the Herald with the comment that their musical dialogues referred to Africa, Spain, simple pop and something which sounded like an arranged marriage between Waikiki and Varanasi.

As a result, world music had seldom sounded so worldy.

Bhattacharya is an odd one: he plays slide guitar (it was Brozman's teacher who introduced Hawaiian guitar to India in 1929) and brings the sensibility of Indian classical traditions to an instrument which can just charm the pants of you at the best of times.

This album is a reissue of his album of last year (now with a somewhat undramatic performance DVD) when Bhattacharya was back on home ground playing two ragas, divided into their three separate sections for convenient CD scanning -- which at the time I said was unnecessary, ragas are best listened to in their entirety to fully appreciate their development.

That said, this is quietly impressive: Raga Tilak Kamod, an evening raga, opens with reflective delicacy before being improvised out into some playing which can be quite amusing; and Raga Basant Mukhari is a resonant morning raga which yawns awake over tamboura drones but halfway through sounds like the coffee has kicked in.

For those who like Indian classical music but who don't want another sitar or sarod album -- or if you just want some meditative music -- then this is something special and different.

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

Maria Ana Bobone: Fado and Piano (Arc Music)

Maria Ana Bobone: Fado and Piano (Arc Music)

Quite why this fado singer and pianist would break the elegant and stately mood of her otherwise acoustic album with a live electronica piece which seems to channel the spirit of Clannad/Enya is... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Ariel: Yellow Submarine (1997)

Ariel: Yellow Submarine (1997)

Another track from the often hilarious and sometimes worrying Plastic Soul Vol 4 album which is a compilation of mad Beatles covers, many from Russia. Ariel weigh in with two entries, A... > Read more

Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon: Running the Risk (2012)

Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon: Running the Risk (2012)

Recorded for the album YOKOKIMTHURSTON (shortly after Gordon and Moore of Sonic Youth separated), this typically demanding, poetic piece was -- at almost 10 minutes -- mostly improvised in studio.... > Read more