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The Bodhisattwa Trio - Intersections


album Reviews Feb 17, 03:27pm

A review of Intersections by The Bodhisattwa Trio.

The notion of a three piece experimental jazz rock trio, in and around the local music circuit, is putatively foolhardy and invites only the risk-taking eccentrics, or hopelessly naïve ‘want, but not get’ amateurs. It is near impossible to dwell in the space between; let’s face it, jazz rock is either enrichingly life-affirming or aurally pungent. In essence, the difference comes down to real blood and sweat skill and musicality; aping musicians, who have come and gone before you, in this respect would be futile. Forget about the basics of infusing jazz and rock – both existing in nearly polar opposite spaces from each other; when brought together form a nearly endless abyss of possibilities. It would require a certain amount of finesse and dexterity – apart from the obvious criterion of virtuoso skill – to be able to shape music out of this pool. Have The Bodhisattwa Trio made the cut? Well, it might just be by the skin of their teeth, but I believe they have. The trio have set themselves on a pedestal with their EP, Intersections, leaving behind a sense of after-thought lingering in the smoke.

The six track record stretches a little over 45 minutes, which might seem dauntingly ambitious; with each track averaging about eight minutes, keeping a firm grasp onto the listener’s attention is a worthy achievement in itself. The EP does far more than just mash together spirals of 1/8th and 1/16th notes stitched onto off-timed drum signatures with long passages of almost silent open hats, rising to explosive beats; there is structure, there is context, there is fluid concept.

‘0305’ has this infuriatingly simple structure that somehow supports, almost effortlessly, a very robust guitar tone during its airy Satriani-like single note melodies; and fluently enough melts together with the bass and drums as they kick into a grungy riff Soundgarden would be proud of. Bodhisattwa Ghosh’s credibility as a guitarist is justified well enough by just the tone of his guitar (which most guitarists will kill for) until he hits you with some impressive wah effects and whammy plays through ‘Cronos’. The EP flows with sense and ease; the dynamics within the trio seemingly flawless in nature, like symbiotic organisms working in fluid tandem. Drummer Premjit Dutta and bassist Bijit Bhattacharya shell out some grooves that somehow feel nostalgic of my conceived idea of a jazz pub in Memphis during the ’70s. There is this unspoken mode of communication the members seem to share, that yields some interesting progressions; ‘Locked Up’ masquerades as the evil twin sister to ‘Annihilation’, shifting the perspective of story-telling with what seems like the same rhythm but somehow radically different.

The Bodhisattwa Trio have a knack of veering off into unrelatable tangents before clouding their instruments together, into grand crescendos and vicious breakdowns, placing their musicality at the forefront as their identity. The trio have only embarked upon their journey, they have some distance to cover and some time to bide; but take it for a fact that they are here to stay and they still have a lot to say.

Stream 'Locked Up' by The Bodhisattwa Trio:

Intersections by The Bodhisattwa Trio is available for purchase here.

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