Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Raga Bop Trio - Raga Bop Trio CD (album) cover


Raga Bop Trio


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.00 | 1 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Money
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Ragabop Trio is Steve Smith on drums, Prasanna on guitar and George Brooks on saxophone, three experts in the fine art of Indian jazz-rock fusion. This first effort, also called 'Ragabop Trio', reveals a lot of talent as well as a few possible problems. The big plus is Prasanna's considerable skills on the electric guitar. I'm not sure how he produces intricate South Indian Carnatic micro-tonal note bends on an electric guitar, but he does and his ornaments are deadly accurate and authentic, but most importantly, they sound great.

Not everything is all Indian jazz-rock on here, on a few tunes they also turn to African fusion to provide some rhythmic foundation. The variety of styles they perform can be interesting, but sometimes it seems like this CD lacks focus or some kind of anchor point. Overall though, I think the biggest problem here is the lack of a bass player. I can see that by excluding the bass they have created a more Indian style ensemble with Smith acting as a tabla player on the trap set with the other two providing the raga like solos, which is fine on some of the more Indian styled cuts, but on the more rockin or funky numbers the lack of bass really sticks out and makes the music sound empty.

Some of the best cuts include: 'Tug of War', a fast paced fusion workout with lots of great guitar leads, 'Garuda', a beautiful mellow African melody and 'Katayini', a cool groove number with excellent alternating raga melodies. That last one could show up on some exotica collections someday. The least successful cut is 'The Geometry of Rap', in which Steve Smith presents Indian rhythm counting syllables (konnakol) as a sort of rap. It comes across as something that is clever the first time you do it, but not something to put on your CD. Besides, as a rap song, its not very good. I think I have heard someone else trying to use konnakol as rap, probably one of those things that will make the rounds for a while and then disappear for good, sort of like parachute pants.

I think fans of Indian fusion will find a lot of things to enjoy here. A couple songs are excellent and Prasanna's guitar playing is a revelation, but I think a little more musical unity and at least an occasional bass player could do this band some good.

Easy Money | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this RAGA BOP TRIO review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives