Yeah, the dude can make a hand drum speak. Definitely one of the flashier of the tabla greats...I think as a soloist one of my favorites. His father (Alla Rakha) was a great soloist, but also one of the greatest accompanists, definitely. Didn't hurt with his longstanding association with Raviji.
But I was just amazed that he could actually make many of those runs IN TUNE! Even approximating the pitches and getting the intervals close to right would be amazingly hard, but there were several runs where he sounded perfectly in tune with the line Hariprasad had just played.
I've been listening to a lot of surbahar music (the arguable master of this remains Ustad Imrat Khan) but I couldn't imagine it as brewing music, far too mellow and contemplative.