V.M. Bhatt/Matt Malley Sleepless Nights
At first, before you actually hear it, the idea of a collaboration between Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Matt Malley might strike you as strange. What, you might wonder, can an Indian virtuoso, who created a 20-stringed hybrid slide guitar he calls the Mohan Veena, possibly have in common with the former bassist of the popular American rock band Counting Crows? But one listen to Sleepless Nights, their tandem effort on World Village Records, released April 13th, quickly answers that question: V.M. Bhatt and Matt Malley share a vision. Indeed, in retrospect it seems their paths were meant to cross.
Sleepless Nights is a sublime work, resplendent in multiple colorings and ever-shifting moods, its melodies entrancing and its rhythms spellbinding. It’s saturated with spirituality and heart, a sound at once ancient yet timeless. In six long-form tracks, Bhatt, who composed all of the music and leads the way with his Mohan Veena and vocals, Malley (on basses and keyboards) and Subhen Chatterjee (tablas and percussion), invent and explore new worlds while bridging distances in this one.