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

Ali Farka Toure/Toumani Diabate: In the Heart of the Moon (Elite)

Ali Farka Toure/Toumani Diabate: In the Heart of the Moon (Elite)

In world music circles Malian guitarist Toure and kora player Diabate, are acknowledged geniuses, and Toure’s playing and sandpaper vocal style have drawn comparisons with Delta blues... > Read more

Federico Aubele: Amatoria (Border)

Federico Aubele: Amatoria (Border)

This New York-based Argentinean singer-songwriter goes straight for the heart with barely sung ballads which ride gentle electronica soundbeds and acoustic guitars, with soft vocals (and some lady... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

HOW TO HEAR CLASSICAL MUSIC by DAVINIA CADDY

HOW TO HEAR CLASSICAL MUSIC by DAVINIA CADDY

At the height of Beatlemania when they realised the earning power of their songs, John Lennon and Paul McCartney would, according to the latter, sit down and say, “Let's write a swimming... > Read more

South west China: Everybody must get stoned . . .

South west China: Everybody must get stoned . . .

The provinces of Guizhou and Yunnan in south west China wouldn't seem to be the places for recreational stoners, but . . . Those of us who are recreational stoners – although perhaps I... > Read more