The Winds and Echoes of the Andes

Los Ruphay – A Cry For Revolution< - Earth Healing Music from Bolivia

Los Ruphay – A Cry For Revolution< - Earth Healing Music from Bolivia (ARC Records EUCD2795, 2018)

It’s a 50th anniversary album for the band. They’re not as old as the Rolling Stones, but they’re older than the Internet, and they owe nothing to either. This is music that percolated through relative isolation, part Inca and part Spanish and mainly the former, because lower literacy rates equal high aural retention rates.

This half century-old Bolivian ensemble is the equivalent of a superlative, studied European Reformation Revivalist band. Except that they’ve spent more time with homemade instruments. And with their (South American griot) grandfathers and grandmothers. And with childhood bedtime stories of the Golden Man. And border wars, in living memory, with headhunters, ritual cannibals and slavers from the Amazon basin on the other side of the Andes.

Long ago, before the Andes rose, the Amazon flowed from East to West. Said dramatic rise trapped dolphins, otters and other creatures on the far side, and they adapted to freshwater. Bolivian legend includes intriguing tales of these creatures’ origins and motives, not to mention stories of 75-meter snakes and reptiles the world in general complacently believes disappeared with Jurassic extinctions. In short, within this tradition, everything over the next hilltop will kill you if you go there alone and quietly. This leads to a tight ensemble sound, yet also to individual resource. This is the basis for revolution.

“A Cry For Revolution” is a half century-old band articulating the revolutionary message of post-Conquistador centuries. The wind instruments capture the wind of the Andes. The drums capture the echo of mountains. Complete instrumentation for the record, among the eight players thereon, includes charango, vocals, flutes, pan-flutes, percussion, quena, guitar and cello, with much interchange between band members. This is an album paying homage to the ancestors. It’s that kind of World Folk.

It is a large album; one will put it on for a dinner party and feel insecure about having set enough places. One will water the yard and worry that spots have been missed. That wind. That echo. It is a record that makes one’s world larger.

Buy A Cry For Revolution – Earth Healing Music from Bolivia

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Artist Profiles: Debashish Bhattacharya

Debashish Bhattacharya

India’s Debashish Bhattacharya is one of the greatest slide guitarists in the world. He has, both through creating the actual design of the instrument, and with his incredible talent and discipline, elevated the Hindustani slide guitar to be the highest evolution of slide guitar anywhere. Debashish started Indian music from his parents before he learned the alphabet.

Born into a musical family on January 12, 1963, in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, Debashish Bhattacharya learned to sing before he could talk. At the age of 3, he started playing the Hawaiian lap steel guitar, giving his first major concert on All India Radio at 4.

In his childhood he mastered many Indian classical instrumental styles as well as vocal music from different musical teachers in Calcutta. He became a disciple and student of Brij Bhushan Khabra, the father of Indian classical guitar, for 10 years, and also trained under Ajoy Chakrabarty, the eminent Indian vocalist. He also studied with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

The first slide guitarist to receive the President of India Award in 1984 he was made a Pandit (master) at 40. Since then he has been established as one of the world’s most outstanding slide guitarists by tours of inspirational live concerts and bestselling albums, including the breathtaking collaboration with slide guitarist Bob Brozman, Mahima. A designer, as well as a virtuoso, Debashish has designed nineteen slide guitars since he began experimenting in his twenties.

To develop his playing, he has undergone decades of disciplined study of Indian vocal technique combined with his instrumental work. Debashish can sing perfectly in parallel with every blindingly fast melody he plays. Possessed of a very open musical mind, Debashish is eager and more than qualified to collaborate and truly blend with musicians from any other country.

Since 1996, his collaboration with Bob Brozman has resulted in two “World of Slide” tours of the USA and Canada, plus more appearances with Bob, and with The International Troupe, in Canada and South Africa. Debashish also toured Europe and recorded with John McLaughlin with Shakti. In 2002, Debashish returned to Quebec with Bob.

All the guitars heard on 3: Calcutta Slide-Guitar 3: Calcutta Slide-Guitar (Riverboat TUGCD1036), his 2005 album, are unique instruments designed by Debashish himself, a Trinity of Guitars, Chaturangui, Gandharvi and Anandi, representing three generations of instruments, while also continuing a thousand-year tradition of music. 3: Calcutta Slide-Guitar is shaped from Debashish’s original three-finger picking technique.

Discography:

Ahir Bhairav & Bhairavi (India Archives, 1992)
Calcutta to California (Frequency Glide, 1996)
Raga Bhimpalasi (India Archives, 1997)
Sunrise (Sagarika Music, 1998)
Hindustani Slide Guitar (India Archives, 2000)
Mahima (Riverboat, 2003)
Till Death Do Us Part (Saregama, 2004)
Season of Life (Saregama, 2004)
The Melting Pot Overfloweth (Saregama, 2004)
Love’s Dawn (Saregama, 2004)
Calcutta Slide-Guitar, Vol. 3 (Riverboat, 2005)
Raga Pahadi Jhinjhoti (India Archives, 2007)
Calcutta Chronicles: Indian Slide Guitar (Riverboat, 2008)
O Shakuntala! (Riverboat, 2009)
Beyond the Ragasphere (Riverboat, 2013)
Madeira: If Music Could Intoxicate (Debashish Bhattacharya, 2013)
Slide-Guitar Ragas From Dusk Till Dawn (Riverboat, 2015)
Hawaii to Calcutta: A Tribute to Tau Moe (Riverboat, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Buddhadev Das Gupta

Buddhadev Dasgupta

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta was a virtuoso performer who created a uniquely modern style rooted in a profound knowledge and feeling for raga music. He will be remembered along with giants such as Vilayat Khan, Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan for defining instrumental music in North India after independence.

Buddhadev was born in Bihar in 1933. For an extended period of thirty-eight years, he undertook a monumental regimen of practice and study under the illustrious Acharya Radhika Mohan Maitra, a celebrated performer and teacher. Radhika Mohan Maitra was known not only for his brilliance of technique but also for his scrupulous attention to correct and logical exposition of ragas as well as for his vast repertoire of ragas and compositions. These qualities were passed to his foremost student Buddhadev Dasgupta.

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta’s style represented a modern synthesis of the rababiya and beenkar styles. This synthesis manifested itself in his brilliant combination of complex right hand picking patterns with fluid left hand movement. Buddhadevji’s baaj, however, was not a mere synthesis of these two idioms but a thrustful, avant-garde approach that gave him a totally new dimension to sarod playing and to Indian instrumental music in general. A hallmark of the music of Buddhadev Dasgupta is the architecture of his formal organization. Grand large scale structures are eveloped through systematic exposition of traditional forms.

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta is perhaps unmatched in the variety and complexity of his taans (rapid melodic sequences that convey the contours of a raga). Long flowing melodic lines are masterfully constructed from smaller phrases which are concise formulations of the essential grammar of the raga. Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta is also well known for his intense cultivation of laykari. Rhythmic patterns of striking beauty and force are an essential part of his playing.

Dasgupta recorded for several major record labels, including HMV, Nimbus and Columbia. As as scholar and a musician, he contributed to Nimbus Records’ four-volume “Raga Guide”, and to “Alap” a book and ten-volume introduction to Hindustani Music published by Times Music. Panditji was on the panel of experts of All India Radio, Vishwa Bharati University, Rabindra Bharati University, Allahabad University, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Sangeet Research Academy, the Rotterdam Conservatorium of Music, and the Den Haag Conservatory. Buddhadev was a “Top Grade” artist of AlR, and revered in musical communities as a connoisseur’s musician.

A recipient of many awards, Buddhadev Dasgupta was decorated with such coveted honours as the Shiromani Award (1992), Sangeet Bhaskar of the Pracheen Kala Kendra (1995), and most importantly, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1993). He was also an active and successful teacher, and a number of his disciples have made an impressive mark with music-lovers.

Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta died on January 15, 2018.

Partial discography:

Nidhi

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Artist Profiles: Brij Bhushan Kabra

Brij Bhushan Kabra

Pandit Brij Bhushan Kabra was born in 1937. Her was a senior disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and pioneered the use of the guitar in Hindustani music. He recorded widely, and was perhaps best known for the album “Call of the Valley,” which he recorded with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. He worked actively with the State Music Academies of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and in 1980 was the recipient of the Gujarat State Award for his meritorious services in the field of music.

Brij Bhushan Kabra died on April 12, 2018.

Partial Discography:

Call of the Valley (Gramaphone Company of India, 1968), reissued by Saregama
Exotic Sounds of Guitar (1986)
Jugalbandi Duet for Violin and Guitar – Raga Bageswari

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Artist Profiles: Bombay S Jayashri

Bombay S Jayashri
Bombay S Jayashri is a star of Carnatic music. She received her initial training from her parents. She learned under the guidance of Smt T R Balamani Ammal of Bombay.

Since 1989, she has been under the guidance and tutelage of the renowned violin maestro, Padmashri Lalgudi G Jayaraman. Since then, she has been continuously and devotedly applying her musical talents and interpretations to perfection.

Discography:

Smaranam: Song of the Soul (Inreco, 2010)
WindSong – Classical Jugalbandi with Pandit Ronu Majumdar (Kosmik, 2010)
Confluence of Elements (Saregama, 2007)
Kannamma (Rajalakshmi Audio, 2007)
Azhaga (Rajalakshmi Audio, 2006)
Salokyam (Charsur Digital Workstation, 2005)
Margam (Rajalakshmi Audio, 2004)
Kashi (Charsur Digital Workstation, 2003)
Panchabhutams (Music Today, 2003)
Shyama (Music Today, 2003)
Vatsalyam (Charsur Digital Workstation, 2001)
Shravanam: Music for Meditative Listening (Charsur Digital Workstation, 2001)
Atma: Soul (2000, Charsur Digital Workstation, 2000)

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Artist Profiles: Biplab Bhattacharya

Biplab Bhattacharya

Biplab Bhattacharya Biplab was born in 1975 and was encouraged to play tabla at an early age by his father, Prof Kanai Bhattacharya (senior most disciple of Pandit Kanai Dutta). He studied with Pandit Shankar Ghosh and Pandit Arabinda Ghosh at Bengal Music College (Calcutta).

He is a recipient of several awards including: Sangeet Kalakar Degree (Hon) Senior National Scholarship in 1995; Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Scholarship? in 1993-94; Biman Ghosh Memorial Challenge Trophy (Best New Talent) in 1995 Sangeet Kala Ratna? award from Matri Udbodhan Ashram – Patna (2001).

Biplab has performed and recorded in India, U.S.A, Canada, South Africa, Jordan, Mongolia and Europe collaborating with fine musicians and dancers such as Smt. Sujata Banerjee (Kathak), Smt. Madhumita Roy (Kathak) Shri Kushal Das (Sitar), Pt. Ronu Majumder(Flute), Shri Subhendra Rao(Sitar) Smt. Madhuri Chatterjee (Violene),Prof.Ken Zuckerman(Sarod). Pt. Srikant Bakre, Padma Bhushan Pandit V. G. Jog, Vidusi Sisir Kana Dhar Chowdhury, Ust. Ashish Khan, Vidusi Meera Banerjee, Pt. Manas Chakraborty, Pt. Samaresh Chowdhury, Usd. Maskoor Ali Khan, Shri Tajendra Narayan Majumder, Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya, Pt. Ronu Majumder, and Pt. Shri Kushal Das.

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Artist Profiles: Bickram Ghosh

Bickram Ghosh

A percussionist of exceptional quality, Bickram Ghosh received his training from his father Shankar Ghosh and the great maestro Gyan Prakash Ghosh. He has accompanied leading artists including Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, V.G. Jog and the late Munawar Ali Khan. His work with Tarun Bhattacharya, both in international touring and recording, brought his music to a wider audience in the West.

Bickram Ghosh has accompanied acclaimed Indian classical and world fusion artists, including Dr. Balamurali Krishna, Ajoy Chakraborty, Tarun Bhattacharya, Anoushka Shankar, Ravi Shankar, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, and Axiom of Choice.

Discography:

Talking Tabla (Music of the World, 1996)
Language of Rhythm: Drumming From North & South India (Music of the World, 1998)
Drums of India: Father and Son (Biswas, 2001)
Definitive Collection- Rhythm & Zen (Sony Music, 2003)
Best of Swar Utsav (Music Today, 2003)
Rhythmscape (Navras, 2003)
Tabla Odyssey (Music Today, 2004)
Pulsating Drums, with Zakir Hussain and Taufiq Qureshi (Music Today/Living Media, 2007)
Drum Invasion (Music Today, 2007)
Beyond Rhythmscape (Sagarika Music, 2007)
Interface, with Rahul Sharma (Thoughtify, 2008)
Folktail (Thoughtify, 2008)
Pride of Bengal- Pandit Shankar Ghosh and Bickram Ghosh (RPG, 2008)
The Kingdom of Rhythm, with Pete Lockett (Saregama, 2009)
Journey with the Master Percussionists of India (Drumzine, 2009)
Decade of Great Fusion 2000-2009 (EMI Virgin, 2009)
Electro Classical (Sony BMG, 2009)
White Note (Sony BMG, 2009)
Tablasphere (Veecon Music & Entertainment, 2010)
Blazing Drums (Times Music, 2011)
Talking Drums: Masters of Percussion (Music Today, 2011)
Tagore Lounge (Veecon Music & Entertainment, 2011)
Transformation (Sony Music, 2011)
Nazrulaana (Times Music, 2013)
The Music Room (Times Music, 2014)
Maya – Bickram Ghosh’s Dedication To Ravi Shankar (East Meets West, 2016)

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Artist Profiles: Babukishan

Babukishan

Krishnendu Das (a.k.a. Babukishan) is a music designer, singer and author from India. He was born September 27, 1962.

Babukishan comes from a family background of traditional folk music artists. His grandfather, guru shri Nabani das Baul, worked with the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. His father is the legendary baul Samrat purna das, Purna Das Baul, the first baul singer (folk singer) of India who spread this culture throughout the world.

Babukishan
At an early age, Babukishan joined several youth folk festivals that traveled throughout the world from 1980 to 2002 as music composer, musician and singer. He also toured with Bob Dylan’s The Band East & West tour in 1985. In addition, Babukishan has performed with other international artists such as Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, Miles Davis, Dharma Bums, Allan Fakir, fusion band Sosoo, George Harrison, Herbie Mann, reggae group Third World, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson and many others.

Babukishan has also worked with top Indian musicians/singers and music directors such as R.D.Burman, Zakir Hussain , V. Laya, Shankar.

As a composer, Babukishan has written the music for several albums, TV serials and films, earning a good reputation as one of the most promising composer in the Bollywood (Indian cinema) music &film industry of India. In his recordings, Babukishan features folk music, romantic songs, pop songs, ghazals, Qawwali music, new age, fusion, Sufi music and bhajans (devotional songs).

He is the first singer and music composer from the rich baul family tradition to venture into fusion music by combining baul/sufi music with western music and reggae music. Babukishan produced and directed two documentary films about folk music and he wrote a book titled “The Bauls of Bengal.” Babukishan founded the band “Birds” that combines new age, world music/traditional folk and fusion music.

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Artist Profiles: Avijit Ghosh

Avijit Ghosh
Born on November 30th, 1974 in Kolkata, Avijit Ghosh was introduced to Indian Classical Music under the influence of his maternal uncle sitar player Pt. Ranjan Ganguly.

Avijit started learning Sarod in 1990 under the guidance of Dhyanesh Khan, son of the legendary master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan of Maihar Gharana; and also learned from Ustad Ashish Khan and Pandit Tejendra Mazumdar.

Avijit earned the first position in the All India Radio competition in 1996 and also received President’s Gold Medal. He is a regular B-high artist of AIR and TV. He holds a first class M.A. in instrumental music of the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.

He has also received a gold medal at the University exams. The Salt Lake Cultural Association gave him the coveted Jadubhatta Puraskar in 1998.

Avijit’s major performances include Sutanuti Parishad AIR Award Ceremony at Allahabad, several music circles in Kolkata, Aurobindo Ashram (Delhi), Habitat World (Delhi), and Bangladesh TV.

On May 8th, 2007, Avijit received his Phd in Instrumental Music Sarod from Rabindra Bharati University Kolkata.

Avijit wrote a book titled Origin and Development of The Sarod, published by Kalpaz Publications, New Delhi, 2012.

Discography:

Rising Star of Sarod (Raga Music)
Young Master of the Sarode (Bihaan Music Kolkata)

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Artist Profiles: Aruna Sairam

Aruna Sairam
Aruna Sairam was born October 30, 1952. Her virtuosity is expressed through a stunningly beautiful voice coupled with extraordinarily skilled improvisation and an ability to transmit one of the world’s great sacred repertoires to audiences of all backgrounds.

Her intricate vocal lines dance around rhythms of dazzling complexity, separating and intersecting, breaking free and doubling back, seeming to touch the ground only to launch into another ecstatic melody.

Discography:

Trialogue (2012)
Rang Abhang (2011)
Arunambujam (2009)
Uthukkadu Vaibhavam (2009)
Madrasil Margazhi 2007 – The Music Academy Concerts (2008)
Gayaka Vaggeyakaras (2008)
Divine Inspiration (2008)
Madrasil Margazhi 2006 – The Music Academy Concerts (2007)
Chennai December Season 2006 (2007)
Ksetra Chennapuri (2006)
Chennai December Season 2005 (2006)
Madrasil Margazhi 2005 (2006)
Hariyum Haranum (2006 )
Arupadai (2005)
Kannanum Kandhanum (2005)
Shanmatham (2005)
Live Concert Chennai December Season 2003 (2004)
Bhagyadhalakshmi – Live Concert (2004)
Jeevanandam (2004)
Kamboji (2004)
Unnai Allal (2004)
Live Concert Chennai December Season 2002 (2003)
Sree Ramaseva Mandali Live Concert Series – April 2001 (2003)
Ma Stuti – Devotional (2002)
Ekaika Ragam (2002)
Swar Utsav – Live Concert (2002)
Live Concert Chennai December Season 2001 (2002)
Live Concert Chennai December Season 2000 (2001)
Ksetra – Srirangam (2001)
Kana Vendamo (2001)
Sources (2000)
Madhura Smriti-Classical (2000)
South India Padam, Tanjore Style of Singing (1999)
Captivating Melodies (1999)
Perennial Favourites (1998)
Aruna Sairam – Classical Vocal (1998)
Classical (1997)
Aruna Sayeeram Vocal (1997)
Perennial Favourites (1996)
Marga Music Festival (1996)
The Lyrical Tradition of Carnatic Music (1995)
Aruna Sairam Classical Vocal (1995)
Aruna – Thousand Names of the Divine Mother (1995)
Aruna Sairam Carnatic Vocal (1995)
Abhanga Arunam (1994)
Chant Karnatique (1990)

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