Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Paban Das Baul: Prem Katha Ti Shunte Bhalo
Paban Das Baul: Music of the Honey Gatherers (World Music Network/Southbound)

The music of the itinerant Bauls of Bengal has only made a brief appearance at Elsewhere previously (the album by Bapi Das Baul here) but its uplifting spiritual quality in pop-sized bites (it is often improvised, but on CD nothing stretches much longer than Hey Jude or Stairway to Heaven) which makes it appealing on a number of fronts.

Paban Das Baul has been quite the ambassador for this often hypnotic, undeniably exotic and always engrossing music: in 97 he recorded in the Real World studio in Bath, and last year he collaborated with London-based guitarist Sam Mills on the Real World album Real Sugar -- which shows just how far he has traveled (literally and metaphorically) from his home village in West Bengal where he was inducted into the Sufi and Baul traditions.

This album with own small ensemble -- percussion, dotara, sort of a Jew's harp thing, ektara -- keeps the music almost elementally simple and his vocals are warm but authoritative in these folk songs which have a mesmerising, groove-based tenor.

Undoubtely this is music best experienced live, but over these 10 songs in 55 minutes you can certainly be seduced in and drift away -- even if you have no idea what is being sung about.

The eight-minute closer (only one of two song that length) will have you slipping into a peaceful trance to a place where the honey-gatherers are.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

OTTMAR LIEBERT INTERVIEWED (2006): A new age of flamenco

OTTMAR LIEBERT INTERVIEWED (2006): A new age of flamenco

Very few musicians can claim to have created a genre, but with his 1990 album Nouveau Flamenco, guitarist Ottmar Liebert did exactly that. Liebert’s hybrid style -- which existed... > Read more

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

HOSSAM RAMZY INTERVIEWED (2004): Egypt's music ambassador

Hossam Ramzy, who has a home in England and an apartment in Cairo, is a hard man to pin down. The first call is to the British office where the Egyptian composer and percussionist is... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; New Orleans. Blues, soul and jazz gumbo

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; New Orleans. Blues, soul and jazz gumbo

When New Orleans -- aka The Big Easy, The City That Care Forgot -- became the very big uneasy and the city the administration forgot in the wake of Katrina and the flooding, many people around the... > Read more

Gold Coast, Australia: The singer not the song

Gold Coast, Australia: The singer not the song

The night we scattered my mother's ashes on the Broadwater at Surfers Paradise where she had lived, Silvio sang to us. I recognised him as soon as we entered Fratelli's restaurant, he had sung to... > Read more