Bhattacharya, Gronseth, Wessel: Bhattacharya/Gronseth/Wessel (pling)

 |   |  1 min read

Goodnight Irene
Bhattacharya, Gronseth, Wessel: Bhattacharya/Gronseth/Wessel (pling)

Many decades ago Elsewhere fell for the album Karuna Supreme by American saxophonist John Handy and tabla player Ali Akbar Khan, just another in a long line of jazz and Indian music crossovers which started in the mid Sixties with Ravi Shankar's Improvisations (an Essential Elsewhere album) and lead on to the Indo-Jazz Fusion albums by Joe Harriott and John Mayer.

Because both jazz and Indian music share the tradition of improvisation, it seems a natural pairing – as John Coltrane and many others discovered.

The issue each party might have is that most often where both jazz and Indian classical ragas can soar and be vigorously challenging – if not downright challenging to all parties playing – the music of many Indo-jazz albums most often errs to the reflective and meditative.

That was certainly true of Karuna Supreme.

And this still-delightful album by Indian slide guitar master (and Elsewhere favourite) Debashish Bhattacharya, Norwegian saxophonist Anders Lonne Gronseth and New York guitarist Kenny Wessel occupies much the same thoughtful territory.

Bhattacharya's seductively hypnotic sound on his 22-string instrument, Wessel's fluid tones and Gronseth's often featherweight sound are never less than enjoyable, engaging and sometimes ineffably, romantically evocative as they draw on raga, dhun (Indian folk), emotionally cool but melodically seductive Scandinavian jazz traditions and post-Wes Montgomery rounded guitar tones.

Interesting version of Goodnight Irene though. 

But – accompanied by Subhasis Bhattacharya, Debashish's brother on tabla and percussion -- this is an enjoyable album which only confirms the familiar rather than extends it.

For more on this album and others in the Norwegian label Pling's catalogue go here.


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Helen Henderson: Twisting Wind (Ranui)

Helen Henderson: Twisting Wind (Ranui)

Tough and often earthy blues rock/alt.country from a New Zealand-born LA raised singer-songwriter who here calls up some big names (guitarist Doug Pettibone, Spooner Oldham on keyboards) whose... > Read more

Bob Mould; Patch the Sky (Merge/Southbound)

Bob Mould; Patch the Sky (Merge/Southbound)

After their bands broke up Bob Mould and Frank Black (of Husker Du and the Pixies, respectively) rediscovered their love of pop structures, although didn't sacrificing much in their former... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER KATHRYN VAN BEEK on what’s involved in taking a creative writing course

GUEST WRITER KATHRYN VAN BEEK on what’s involved in taking a creative writing course

Do you: ·         keep a journal? ·         have a lot of opinions?... > Read more

Good Morning, America

Good Morning, America (2005) wake early that is the time to see the other America . . . the young men picking through garbage collecting cans bagging bottles... > Read more