In an interview with an Indian newspaper, The telegraph, recalls Mr. Roy: “All of a sudden, Miles says to me: ‘You begin’ – no music, nothing at all, just like that. Realizing I need to set the groove, I just start playing a ta-ka-na-ta-n-ka-tin beat. Herbie nods rhythmically and, with a “Yeah!” », begins to play. For a moment it’s just the two of us, then John and Jack join us. Then everyone else starts and, for me at least, it’s pure chaos. I am completely drowned out by the sound. I continue to play, but for the next half hour I don’t hear a single beat that I’m playing.
These sessions yielded Davis’ “On the Corner”. Mr. Roy joined Davis for further 1972 sessions which contributed material for Davis’ “Big Fun” and “Get Up With It”, both released in 1974, and performed with him at Philharmonic Hall (now David Geffen Hall) at Lincoln Center for what became Davis’ 1973 album “In Concert”.
Mr. Roy received a copy of “On the Corner” when it was released in 1972. But after his frustration at the sessions, he did not listen to it until the 1990s, when his son, then a graduate student, told him, “All the hip-hop guys sample it.”
In 1974, Mr. Roy married Geeta Vashi. She survives him, along with their son and Mr. Roy’s sisters, Kalpana Chakraborty and Shibani Ray Chaudhury, and his brother, Samarendra Roy Chowdhury. He lived in Wilmington.
Mr. Roy supported saxophonist Pharoah Sanders on the albums “Wisdom Through Music” (1972), “Village of the Pharoahs” (1973) and “Love in Us All” (1974), and later performed with Mr. Sanders on stage. With saxophonist Dave Liebman, who had been in Davis’ band, Mr. Roy appeared on “Lookout Farm” (1974), “Drum Ode” (1975) and “Sweet Hands” (1975). (“Sweet hands” is the translation of a Bengali term praising a virtuoso tabla player.)
He released two albums as a frontman in the mid-1970s, both featuring Mr. Liebman: “Ashirbad” (1975) and “Passing Dreams” (1976), which also featured Indian classical musician Sultan Khan on the sarangi, a bowed string instrument.