Sarod Variations Vol 1.
Road to India
Bhargav Mistry and Corrado Rossi
Rs 199,rating: ***
Bhargav Mistry and Corrado Rossi have never met. The Indian sarod player and the Italian pianist discovered each other on MySpace,went on to become Facebook friends and started exchanging material,before they decided to collaborate on an album. The result is Road to India,probably the first Indian/Italian album to be created entirely over the internet.
The music (a fusion of Indian classical and jazz) does not claim to be anything other than what it is: an easy-to-listen-to album,which you can pay attention to,but will work just as well if you play it as you work or unwind after a long day. But not all of it falls into the muzak territory. Some tracks grab your attention such as Hidden Island,with a strong saxophone (a bit Kenny Roger-esque,but that’s forgivable). Other good tracks are Dance of the Hermit (with a haunting alaap) and the mellow Flow of the Ganga.
Not done well,fusion can come off as a cut-and-paste job. Done well,it can be as vibrant as the iconic 1970s band Shakti. Road to India is definitely not in that league. But it has the right amount of energy to make the listener sit up and take notice.