Debashish Bhattacharya

Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar Odyssey
By BANNING EYRE  |  April 1, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars

Debashish Bhattacharya has inherited the rigorous discipline and classical æsthetics of his venerable musical family in Calcutta, but also the modern legacy of the Hawaiian slide guitar, which came to India in 1929. The maverick stylist and instrument designer plays a variety of slide-guitar variants here, in musical styles reflecting his experiences in the culturally rich Calcutta milieu. “Sufi Bhakti” is a moody string jam layering plucked ostinato and crisp, gliding melodies. The joyous “Gypsy Anande” feels even more contemporary, with its vaguely African rolling 12/8 beat and decidedly Hawaiian melodic flourishes. Bhattacharya is a master of classical raga, and his skills and sensibilities are palpable on the expressive unaccompanied solo piece “Kokkata to Kanyamari” and the blistering, percussion-driven fireworks of “Aviskaar,” which together evoke the beginning and ending of a standard, long-form raga.

DEBASHISH BHATTACHARYA | Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston | April 9 | 617.369.3306

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  Topics: CD Reviews , Museum of Fine Arts
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