Sanjay Mishra

Blue Incantation

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AllMusic Review by

Not only did the late Jerry Garcia like Indian guitarist Sanjay Mishra's work so much that he released Blue Incantation through the Grateful Dead's merchandising company, but he even graced three of the album's tracks with his distinctive guitar work, making this one of his last performances before his death. But the Garcia connection aside, this disc is worth a listen on the strength of Mishra's nimble guitar work and smooth compositions alone. His dexterity is well-met by Samir Chatterjee's gifted approach to tabla, marrying complex rhythmic structures with pastoral melodies to create an Indian-folk fusion that's remarkably accessible. On tracks like "Monsoon" and "Clouds," Garcia's blues-based guitar is worked into the mix, exploring atmospheric planes perfect for meditation or relaxation, while "Bach In Time" finds Mishra exhibiting a remarkable knowledge of Western classical music. But the album's most effective track is the hypnotically sensual "Passage Into Dawn," which uses the passionate vocals of Sanghamitra Chatterjee to great effect. A gorgeous record that updates the rich traditions of Indian Classical music by placing them in a modern context.

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