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

Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Known as "Tuku" after the style of music he created, singer-guitarist Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe battles the usual problem that musicians from Africa face: if Peter Gabriel isn't behind you... > Read more

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 3; Giants, Ministers and Makers (Strut)

Various Artists: Next Stop Soweto Vol 3; Giants, Ministers and Makers (Strut)

Subtitled "Jazz in South Africa 1963-1984" this is the third volume in the excellent Strut excavation of crucial SA music which has previously picked up Township jive music and mad... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HASIL ADKINS: Howling at the night

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HASIL ADKINS: Howling at the night

Whatever his style was, fame had no interest in embracing it. The closest this rockabilly blues screamer -- who started in the mid Fifties -- came to wider recognition was when the Cramps covered... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

If you were one of the few who didn't buy Amy Winehouse's second album Back to Black on release in 2006 you doubtless picked it up when it came out as an expanded edition a couple of years later.... > Read more