The fast pitter-patter and deep gulping sounds of the tabla and bayan drum have a mesmerizing feel to them, especially under the hands of Bikram Ghosh. Though he also studied the sarod and mrdingam, Ghosh settled on the tabla and has become one of India's finest virtuoso percussionists, having performed his first professional concert in Calcutta at age ten. His fingers move faster than the naked eye can see, blazing through extremely long, memorized streams of tala variations, India's rhythmic system (and the corollary to the melodic ragas). Ghosh has backed many of India's finest musicians, including Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Tatun Bhattacharya and V.M. Bhatt -- all of whom he pushes to new heights with his propulsive rhythms and energetic style. Ghosh performs mostly in the northern, Hindustani style, but has also explored the Carnatic style of the south on excellent recordings that feature solo drums, the zither-like santoor, the bowed sarangi, and other instruments.