I can not remember if I got this at the Half Price Books in Sugar Land or the one on FM 529. Anyway, I got a discount on it during Labor Day so it came out to $4. I have not posted any Ravi Shankar on this blog as of yet. Not a whole lot of Indian music either. Probably because up to this point, I had not found much of it. Thanks to an influx of records from SugarLand HPB, that should change this year.
Ravi Shankar (born in Benares, British India in 1920), was an accomplished Indian classical musician before he started touring Europe and THE US in 1956. These efforts brought him more exposure and eventually George Harrison discovered his music.
Of all the artists who would bring Indian music into pop in the 1960’s, there was none so influential as Harrison, who would study with Shankar for 6 months in 1966. Shankar continued to perform worldwide until his death in 2012 at the age of 92. Incidentally, musician Nora Jones is Shankar’s daughter although she hid this fact early in her career.
This album, recorded at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium in 1967 (I think it was recorded in 1967. for sure that was the year it was released) features Shankar on the sitar, the instrument he made famous. He is backed up by Alla Rakha on the tabla as well as Kamala on the tamboura. This album features 3 songs, all long length. These consist of a raga, a dhun, and a tabla solo. I question the inclusion of a tabla solo on an album that should showcase Shankar, but it is not a bad piece of work. The other numbers are quite interesting.
The album includes some definitions of Indian classical forms and instruments but I am too lazy to include them here. Use Google if you are curious.
As I like to keep my samples short, I went with the shortest track on this album that highlighted Shankar’s work. So from the two to choose from, I went with the 16 minute “Raga Bhupal Todi”, “a pentatonic morning raga of five notes which omits the fourth and seventh and depicts the mood of sadness”.
Good album. Satisfactory. I should have more Indian music posted this year. However, due to the amount of spell check notifications, writing these posts are less fun than others.