Brij Bhushan Kabra

Lure of the Desert

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Lure of the Desert is yet another fantastic release from slide guitar master Brij Bhushan Kabra and presents all facets of his style. Most of the program is not strict classical, but thematic material that tells a story in music. On these tracks, Kabra's guitar is joined by uncredited sarangi and flute (Hariprasad Chaurasia?) as well as an interesting assortment of nonstandard Indian percussion like bells, triangles, and wood blocks. He also employs some chordal techniques that are not often heard in classical Indian music, where pure melody reigns. This album stands well alongside the classic Call of the Valley, with a bit more emphasis on Kabra's playing and his interest in different percussion instruments. These tracks are relatively brief with most clocking in between five and eight minutes long. The program is rounded out by two solo pieces (accompanied by only tabla and tamboura): a light classical piece, "Mishra Maand," and a nice reading of "Raga Maru Behag." Although guitar is not commonly associated with Indian music, this release from EMI India would be a perfect introduction for the Indian music novice as the pieces are fairly brief and there is nothing in the way of lengthy alaps, not to mention Kabra's supreme musicianship. Excellent.

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