Photos: The Bodhisattwa Trio Launch ‘Heart of Darkness’ at Blue Frog, Mumbai
Kolkata guitarist Bodhisattwa Ghosh led his trio through darkness and jazz delirium at the launch of their sophomore album
It’s hardly a good sign when an awkwardly honest frontman like Bodhisattwa Ghosh begins the show by declaring the “band is jinxed” — moreover to an almost empty venue. Sound issues and scratchy monitors didn’t exactly help either. But all it took was a certain level of “transcendence”– to quote the title of The Bodhisattwa Trio’s set opener — to delve into the jazz-rock-prog-static frenzy of the Kolkata jazz band’s sophomore releaseÂ Heart of Darkness.
Preceding the trio’s set was acoustic duo Static, comprising guitarist Sunai Marathe [of prog bandÂ Drawing Short Straws] and vocalist Gayatri Tideman, who took on boldly reworked covers of everything from Neil Young’s “Old Man” to Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”. Around 20 minutes after Static’s performance and a few sound glitches later, the trio themselves took the stage — a sunglasses-sporting Ghosh led the three-piece band [featuring drummer Premjit Dutta and bassist Bijit Bhattacharya] through winding, unnervingly intense instrumentals off the eight-track release. “You have this feeling that you’re on the run and trying to escape, that’s what this song is about,” announced Ghosh of the restless, shape-shifting “Fugitive” to a grand total of about 70-odd listeners, while “Tones Down” took a more composed route.
Three songs into their set and the band called on popular guitarist and composer Ehsaan Noorani to join them on tracks such as “Cronos the Revisit” and “0305” [off their 2014 debut Intersections], before Ghosh took the lead once more for the set closer and title track “Heart of Darkness”. Ghosh didn’t seem to pay heed to the sparse applause however, preferring to oblige the front-of-house enthusiast’s request for an encore. And so the band dove into a cacophonous, traffic jam-inspired “Chaos Practicality” to [finally] some decent applause, breaking the audience’s silence and their self-imposed jinx.
Photos by Bryan Jacob Daniel and Mithali Khare