Bethel (Connecticut), USA – As in his earlier collaborations with Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia and Funkadelic drummer Dennis Chambers, Sanjay Mishra creates new connections between traditional East and West roots and modern music on his new CD Chateau Benares.
On his fifth release (and own his label Akar Music), Mishra blends guitar melodies and ambient electronica with the turntable scratches of DJ Logic, the slide guitar and bass riffs of Keller Williams and Barun Pal, and the programming wizardry of Miti. Accompanied by Steve Gorn’s soulful flute and Samir Chatterjee’s tablas, listeners are swept into the chaos and beauty of India’s holiest city of Benares in “The Bells of Heaven Ring,” and through the vibrant spaces of “The Gateless Gate.” Chateau Benares is a journey to the past, and a realization that home is no longer where it used to be.”The blinding speed of change has caught many cultures in a state of flux,” says Mishra. “Old ways are comforting, yet seemingly must give way to the new. The reality is that one need not succeed at the expense of the other. We wanted to express these feelings by fusing the past and present.”
Born in India and residing in the United States, guitarist-composer Sanjay Mishra grew up playing rock and roll in Calcutta and learning sitar from his mother. After completing his studies at The Peabody Conservatory of Music (where he now teaches) in 1985, Mishra began composing music that combined Eastern and Western influences.
He first came to public attention with his album Blue Incantation with Jerry Garcia. Performing on fretless guitar, he says “I come from a tradition that has a lot of improvisation. Sometimes Western classical music can seem a little rigid. I had to find some middle ground.”
Buy Chateau Benares.