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 from Elsewhere articles index

Uxia: Eterno Navegar (Harmonia Mundi)

Uxia: Eterno Navegar (Harmonia Mundi)

Uxia is a Portuguese singer and songwriter whose reach goes way beyond the now-familiar fado and into slinky Latin-flavoured material, some European folk of the kind which includes the tradition... > Read more

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

ETRAN FINATAWA INTERVIEWED (2006): From sands to stadiums

Etran Finatawa have band members from two nomadic groups from around Niger, and play music which sounds like the raw electric blues from Chicago in the Fifties and Sixties. Their electrifying music... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Isley Brothers; The Essential Isley Brothers (Sony Legacy)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Isley Brothers; The Essential Isley Brothers (Sony Legacy)

The great Isley Brothers out of Cincinnati have hardly received their due by rock and pop writers (although they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in '92). Yet they crafted some... > Read more

THE MANY DEATHS OF MARY DOBIE, by DAVID HASTINGS

THE MANY DEATHS OF MARY DOBIE, by DAVID HASTINGS

As with many compelling stories – from Truman Capote's In Cold Blood through film-noir – this one begins with a murder. And from it, both backwards and forwards, the narrative... > Read more