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Gig Preview: The Bodhisattwa Trio

Watch this one-album-old experimental trio from Kolkata perform in two cities

Mohan Kumar K Jun 13, 2015
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Who: Not many Indian musicians warm up to the idea of playing jazz as a profession, let alone experimental jazz. But this trio based in Kolkata has divorced their promising professions and courses to dabble with what they like to call experimental jazz rock.

The Bodhisattwa Trio is led by guitarist, Bodhisattwa Ghosh (31), considers his group to be an underground phenomenon, but hopes to break into the big league by performing at as many local and international jazz festivals as possible. In Ghosh’s words, “We definitely want to explore our abilities as musicians, especially as instrumentalists. We pushes ourselves individually through continuous research, development and practice.”

Having met at a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert in 2012, Ghosh, drummer Premjit Dutta (31) and bassist Bijit Bhattacharya (28) formed The Bodhisattwa Trio. With an album to their credit and some international exposure through a tour of Europe and Bangladesh as well as a second record in the pipeline, the trio sure seems focused.

 

Sound: The trio switches from outright mean riffs to offbeat mid-tempo anomalies. Their tracks are improvisational in nature, with an emphasis on spontaneity. Says Ghosh, “I write and record the basic melodies or grooves and later jam with the band, incorporating all our ideas. Our influences are drawn from contemporary jazz to rock to Indian classical music.”

The Bodhisattwa Trio from Kolkata Photo: Courtesy of the artist

The Bodhisattwa Trio from Kolkata Photo: Courtesy of the artist

 

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Big break: After releasing their debut album Intersections in Feb 2014, they put together a tour of Europe in May 2014 with four gigs in four cities ”“ London, Ljubljana, Rijeka and Paris. They followed it up with a tour of Bangladesh in September 2014, and played at the Kolkata International Jazzfest in November 2014.

 

Work and play: While Dutta left his career as an engineer to pursue music full time not only as a performer, but as a music educator at Trinity College of Music, London, Bhattacharya dropped out of his post-graduation in Comparative Literature to become a full time bass player. A computer science graduate, Ghosh worked with his father’s business of power electronics for two years before taking up music, playing it and learning in the process full time since 2008. “We connected well at the tribute show and thought we should take that vibe forward and make originals. Now, music takes up all our time,” says Ghosh.

 

On the cards: The band is now focusing on playing as many gigs in India this year, and are also looking at playing at international jazz festivals. In 2016, the band hopes to release their second album and return to Europe in July.

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Spin this: “Annihilation,” which builds on punchy progressive rock riffs, is their signature hard-hitting show opener and also the first track on their debut album.

The Bodhisattwa Trio feat saxophonist Andrew Kay perform at

blueFrog, Mumbai on June 14th, 9.30 pm onwards, Entry: Rs 350 or Rs 1,000 [full cover]

Jamsteady, Kolkata on June 19th

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