Ronu Majumdar

Master of the Indian Bansuri

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AllMusic Review by Adam Greenberg

A fair album of bansuri music overall, Master of the Indian Bansuri puts Pandit Ronu Majumdar on a bit of a pedestal, title-wise. Majumdar is a fine flautist, with a very nice tone on the large flute and some exceptional breathing techniques that lead to rapid-fire deployment of notes from time to time. At the same time, his sound is perhaps not as exciting as a Hariprasad Chaurasia. The ragas chosen are a nice mix of styles, with a Carnatic morning raga, a lighter dhun, an afternoon raga that makes use of two different rhythmic structures (rupaktal for the first portion, teenal for the second), and a Sufist composition based on Raga Khamaj. What makes the album stand out a bit from some of the other Indian classical fare available is Majumdar's tendency to explore the raga a bit. Many contemporary releases move straight into the dhuns and gats for Western audiences, while the raga structure is ultimately built on an extended exploration of the notes and their interplay. Here, while they aren't explored to the degree of a good dhrupad singer, there's some slower development and play with the sounds before getting to the faster, more composed portions. It's a nice album overall, worth a listen for fans of the bansuri.

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