Debashish Bhattacharya and Bob Brozman - Mahima
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Debashish Bhattacharya and Bob Brozman
Mahima
Riverboat Records (www.worldmusic.net)

cd cover Mahima brings together the Hindustani slide guitars and singing of Debashish Bhattacharya and Bob Brozman's guitar, Hawaiian guitar and charango playing, in a magical mix of eastern and western styles.

A combination of mastery of his instrument, a love of music and a desire to explore seem to drive Brozman into seeking new ways of expressing himself based on traditional approaches. He draws together diverse cultures to form natural sounding combinations, as can be heard in his collaborations.

Bhattacharya is the perfect partner for a venture such as this. Taking the western slide guitar, he modified it by adding four supporting, 12 sympathetic and two drone strings. The result is the Hindustani slide guitar, which bridges the gap between standard slides and such Indian instruments as sitar.

Much of the success of this album derives from the coming together of the musicians, their meticulous layering of sounds, their preparedness to listen and work in each other's genre.

Bhattacharya's singing is at times almost percussive and is beautifully controlled when he weaves his way using quarter-notes or as he slides up and down the scale. In many ways, his voice parallels his playing. Vocals are also added by his sister, Sutapa Bhattacharya. She can be playful; her voice dances through "Digi Digi Dom Dom" surrounded by her double-tracked cascading accompaniment; but she can also draw tears with her tragic tale of lost love on "Sujan Re."

Completing the sound is Bhattacharya's brother, percussionist Subhashis. His throbbing accompaniment adds appropriate emphasis and color throughout the album. He too crosses borders, sounding as at home on bodhran, djembe and shakers as he does on tablas and dugis.

Mahima can be translated as divine inspiration through artistic creation, a fitting title for this album. - Jamie O'Brien

CD available from cdRoots

Bob Brozman's web site


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