His first exposure to jazz came when he saw a concert by Duke Ellington and his 60-member orchestra at the Metropole Hotel in Karachi, West Pakistan in 1959; he and his brother were the only Pakistanis in attendance (the rest of the audience was white). Roy received a master's degree in statistics. He came to New York City in 1968 to work on a Ph.D. With only eight dollars in his pocket, he began working as a busboy and waiter in various Indian restaurants, including Taste of India and Raga. He later settled in East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. Musical career Roy began playing the tabla at age 10 or 11, studying with his uncle.
After coming to New York, he began performing with Steve Gorn at a Manhattan restaurant called Raga, eventually attracting the attention of Miles Davis. Davis invited Roy to join his group, and he recorded on Davis's albums On the Corner (1972), Big Fun (1969-72; released 1974), and Get Up with It (1970-74). Roy subsequently performed and recorded with many leading jazz musicians, including Davis, Dave Liebman, Pharoah Sanders, John McLaughlin, Herbie Hancock, Herbie Mann, Pat Metheny, Lester Bowie, Airto Moreira, Charlie Haden, Purna Das Baul, Yoko Ono, and Ornette Coleman (playing in Coleman's electric band Prime Time). In the 1990s Roy began performing with the Brazilian guitar duo Duofel.
He has also collaborated with Ken Wessel and Stomu Takeishi in a fusion trio named Alankar. They currently have one album entitled Daybreak. Roy has appeared and offered workshops at RhythmFest, the Starwood Festival, and at the SpiritDrum Festival, a special tribute to the late Babatunde Olatunji (co-sponsored by ACE and Musart) with Muruga Booker, Jim Donovan of Rusted Root, Halim El-Dabh, Jeff Rosenbaum and Sikiru Adepoju, among others. He often plays with Muruga Booker in the Global Village Ceremonial Band, and with Michael Wolff & Impure Thoughts. In 2004, Roy worked with Richie Havens on the album The Grace of the Sun.
In the first half of 2006, Roy traveled to Japan in order to appear in a tribute for David Baker, his recently deceased recording engineer and friend. In addition to tabla, Roy also plays a variety of percussion instruments including shakers, bells, rain stick, and flexatone. His notable students include Geoffrey Gordon. In 2008 the album Miles From India, a tribute to Miles Davis, on which Roy appeared received a Grammy nomination. Musical style Unlike many tabla player, Roy does not come from a family of professional musicians and is essentially self-taught, although he studied with his uncle as a child and also studied briefly with Alla Rakha. Consequently, his playing is freer than that of many other tabla players, who adhere more strictly to the tala system of Indian rhythm. He often plays a set of up to eight tabla (tuned to different pitches) and two baya at a time, which he plays melodically as well as rhythmically. Discography As leader * 1997 - One in the Pocket (Nomad) * 1998 - Daybreak - Alankar * 2002 - Kolkata Rose (with Geoff Warren) * 2002 - Raga Roni (with Perry Robinson & Ed Schuller) Geeta With Amit Chatterjee * 1997 - Endless Radiance (Art of the Duo) (Tutu) With Ornette Coleman * 1995 - Tone Dialing - Ornette Coleman With Miles Davis * 1974 - Big Fun (2xLP) Columbia Records, 2xCD Columbia (reissued 2000) * 1974 - Get Up With It (2xLP) Columbia Records 1974 (2xCD Coline 1991, 2000) * 1988 - Miles Davis: The Columbia Years 1955 - 1985 (Box set, also 4xCD) Columbia * 1993 - On The Corner (CD, Album) Columbia Records, (Legacy reissued 2000) * 1997 - Miles Davis In Concert: Live At Philharmonic Hall, Legacy * 1998 - Panthalassa: The Music of Miles Davis 1969-1974 With Steve Gorn * 1983 - Yantra: Flute and Tabla (reissued 1994) With Richie Havens * 2004 - Grace of the Sun With Bill Laswell * 1998 - Sacred System: Nagual Site (CD) BMG * 2000 - Lo.
Def Pressure (LP & CD) Sub Rosa With David Liebman * 1974 - Lookout Farm (LP) ECM Records * 1975 - Passing Dreams (reissued 1998, 2002) * 1975 - Drum Ode (LP) ECM Records * 1975 - Sweet Hands * 1975 - Ashirbad (reissued 2002) * 1976 - Father Time With Herbie Mann * Sun Belt (Atlantic) With John McLaughlin * 1999 - My Goals Beyond Knit Classics (Ryko) With Yoko Ono * 1982 - It's Alright (I See Rainbows) * 1992 - Onobox * 1992 - Walking on Thin Ice With Mike Richmond * 1988 - Basic Tendencies (with Glen Velez) Music of the World * 1994 - Asian Journal (with Nana Vasconcelos & Steve Gorn) With Perry Robinson * 1978 - Kundalini With Pharoah Sanders * 1972 - Wisdom Through Music (Impulse! Records) * 1974 - Love In Us All (CD) Universal Music (Japan) With Lonnie Liston Smith * 1973 - Golden Dreams * 1973 - Astral Traveling - (LP) Flying Dutchman (reissued Bluebird Jazz 2002) With Leni Stern * 1991 - Ten Songs * 1998 - Recollection With Steve Turre * 1992 - Sanctified Shells * 2000 - In the Valley of Sacred Sound - Harold E. Smith With Barney McAll & Rufus Cappadocia * 2003 - Vivid Jazzhead With Michael Wolff & Impure Thoughts * 2000 - Impure Thoughts Indianola Music * 2001 - Intoxicate Indianola Music * 2004 - Dangerous Vision Artemis Records * 2006 - Love & Destruction Rong Records With other artists * 1967 - Virgo Vibes - Roy Ayers Atlantic (reissued 2002) * 1979 - Earthquake Island - Jon Hassell (Tomato Music) * 1984 - Mood Swing - The Nails (LP) RCA * 1989 - Dancing With The Lion - Andreas Vollenweider (CD) CBS (reissued with bonus tracks 2005) * 1993 - Angel Rodeo - Lisa Sokolov Laughing Horse Records * 1993 - Prophecy: The Whale & the Elephant Trade Notes on the State of the World - Zusaan Kali Fasteau (Flying Note) * 1994 - Espelho das Águas - Duofel (CD)(Velas) * 1997 - Rising Sun - D. K. Dyson (Ocean Records) * 1998 - Wake Up And Dream - Ekstasis (CD) CyberOctave * 2000 - Musica (with Luiz Bueno) MCD World Music * 2001 - Export Quality - Dum Dum Project (2xLP) X-Squared Records * 2001 - Daughters of the Sun - Nana Simopoulos (Na.
Records) * 2001 - Branching Out - William Cepeda (Blue Jackel) * 2001 - The Sea To The North - Garth Hudson Woodstock Records * 2002 - Of Unicorns and Jasmine ...A Lover's Tale - Simirillion (with Cecil Wilson) Canned Air Records * 2002 - Sacred Spaces - Lee Boice * 2003 - Rebirth - Children On The Corner (Sonance Records) * 2003 - Heavy Skies - Roman Kunsman (Downtown Jazz) * 2005 - Free Funk (with Muruga Booker & members of the Global Village Ceremonial Band, Perry Robinson & Belita Woods) Qbico 2005 * 2006 - Vivid (with Barney Mcall & Rufus Cappadocia) Jazzhead Oz * Songs For Sitar and Tabla (with Arooj Lazewai) Cassette (Music of the World) * 2007 - Bonfire Dreams - Various Artists, ACE * 2008 - OrthoFunkOlogy - Free Funk (with Muruga Booker & Perry Robinson) Musart * 2008 - An die Musik - Nobu Stowe & Alan Munshower with Badal Roy (Soul Note) * 2008 - Miles From India - Various Artists (4Q/Times Square Records) References 1. ^ a b c d Drum Magazine 2. ^ "Play it Again, Badal Roy", India Abroad, September 10, 2004. Accessed June 26, 2008.
"But last week, Roy, an East Brunswick, New Jersey-based tabla player, who has performed with the likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Yoko Ono, was part of the tournament's opening night act." 3. ^ SpiritDrum Festival Website 4. ^ Muruga Booker Website 5. ^ Recalling Miles Davis by Crossing Cultures by Nate Chinen - New York Times, May 12, 2008 External links * "Badal Roy: Funky Tabla" (Artist Profile from Music of the World site) - http://www.rootsworld.com/rw/motw/profile_badal.html * "Tale of A Tabla Nonconformist" by Iris Brooks (November 1997) - http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:6F9k-moGBEoJ:drummagazine.com/html/modules.php%3Fop%3Dmodload%26name%3DNews%26file%3Darticle%26sid%3D308+%22 (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badal_Roy ) Read more on Last.fm.
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