New Release: Debashish Bhattacharya - Beyond The Ragasphere
Debashish Bhattacharya's latest album Beyond The Ragasphere is out now on Riverboat Records
Guitar legends John McLaughlin and Jerry Douglas collaborate with Indian slide guitar maestro Debashish Bhattacharya to explore Beyond The Ragasphere, accompanied by a galaxy of friends including tabla giants Pandit’s Bickram Ghosh and Tanmoy Bose and introducing the stunning vocals of Anandi Bhattacharya.
Via his ever-thirsting passion for travel and touring, Debashish has jammed with a stellar line-up of international musicians. On this album he is joined by jazz guitarist John McLaughlin and Bluegrass dobro legend Jerry Douglas. The Spanish guitarist Adam del Monte peppers his flamenco fire over several tracks, and Jeff Sipe, an American jazz-funk drummer, also joins Debashish on his kit. Tabla accompaniment is variously provided by two of Debashish's childhood friends, the eminent players Pandit Bickram Ghosh and Pandit Tanmoy Bose. Bass vamps are delivered by Mainak Nag Chowdhury, aka 'Bumpy', a friend and student of Debashish. Other collaborators include nylon-string guitarist Nishad Pandey, keys player Raja Raj Narayan and flautist Soumya Jyoti. The album also introduces the flawlessly fluid vocals of Debashish's teenage daughter, Anandi Bhattacharya, and features his younger brother Subhasis on percussion.
'Here is a boldly original fusion experiment from the virtuoso Indian instrumentalist who designed his own slide guitars so they could match the intricacies of the sitar' 4**** stars The Guardian
Debashish Bhattacharya was born in 1963 in the pulsing city of Kolkata (Calcutta). From his earliest days he was thrust into a musical world, practicing with his talented family and experimenting on his first Hawaiian lap steel guitar from the age of three. Today he still operates out of Kolkata, tours internationally and has a heavy load of awards and accolades under his belt. He has released no fewer than five previous World Music Network albums and earned a Grammy award nomination in 2009 for his album Calcutta Chronicles.
Beyond The Ragasphere also introduces Debashish's daughter Anandi on vocals. In the words of her father, Anandi is a 'born musician', who has long aspired to be a professional musician. While the Kolkata recordings for this album were taking place, she was actually in the midst of taking a run of important school exams. Ever the multitasker, the talented teen still found time to deliver faultless vocals on her father's album and complete the academic assessments. She appears on four tracks in total, including 'Khamaj Tarana', a traditional evening ragasung in an updated, and ferociously fast, contemporary style.
'Whoever still thinks 'fusion' in the context of Indian music as a term of abuse will have to change their opinion after listening to this varied and gripping album.' 4**** stars, Top Of The World, Songlines
Watch the video of Debashish Bhattacharya with Subhasis Bhattacharjee below, Rogue Folk Club (Canada) in 2012.
New City Music, Chicago: 'a great showcase of the funky sounds currently made in Crescent City'.
The Guardian, UK, 3*** stars: 'A classy compilation'.
Guardian, UK 4****stars: 'A highly original, compelling set'.
Froots, UK: '... a superb album of an under-represented music ... and comes highly recommended'.