Badal Roy: One in the Pocket

The Music of the World label has done its part in spreading the tabla gospel. They have also recently released One in the Pocket (Nomad 50315; 53:15) the debut album, on its Nomad imprint label, by Badal Roy. Roy is best known for his long history of work with jazz musicians, including John McLaughlin, Miles Davis (hear him on the recently reissued early ’70s album on Columbia), Pharoah Sanders, and, for the past nine years, Ornette Coleman. The album finds Roy engaged in intimate improvisation-heavy dialogues with various musicians, including guitarist Amit Chatterjee, bamboo flutist Steve Gorn, banjoist Jim Bowie, and the Brazilian guitar duo Duofel, as well as percussionists Glen Velez, and Bob Haddad. Unlike other tabla players of note, Roy-who was “discovered” by John McLaughlin in an Indian restaurant in New York soon after arriving here from his native Bangladesh-is not a trained musician, but he brings a bountiful spirit and an elastic musicality to the situations he plays in.