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The Essential Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar

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Album Review

With over 90 albums to his credit, the task for those who wish to investigate the recordings of India's master musician Ravi Shankar can be a daunting one. Therefore, the Legacy/BMG Essential Ravi Shankar fills a welcome place in his catalog and serves as a starting point for the novitiate. There are 20 cuts on these two discs that range over most of the sitarist and composer's shelf, from his early Angel recordings where he played mostly Indian classical music, to his later recordings for Private Music, to his lone Columbia album, The Sounds of India, in 1968. Along the way, Shakar is featured in many settings, from solo to performances with large ensembles of traditional Indian musicians, to his collaborations with violinist Yehudi Menuhin from the gorgeous West Meets East recording, to his recording with George Harrison, to his work with Philip Glass and numerous other musicians on Passages. Through it all, Shankar is consistently in the classical framework, whether he is improvising on ragas or performing other compositions. The sound here has been completely remastered and the liner essay by Hank Bordowitz is both informative and compelling factually. This is the real intro to Shankar that has been needed for such a long time on CD.

Biography

Born: April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

Genre: World

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Rabindra Shankar Chowdery, aka Ravi Shankar, was born on April 7, 1920, in Varanasi, India, into a well-off orthodox Brahmin family. His father, ShyÆm Shankar, was employed as a diwan (minister) by the Maharajah of Jhalawar. By the age of 13, Ravi Shankar was going along on every tour of his brother Uday Shankar's Compaigne de Danse et Musique Hindou (Company of Hindu Dance and Music). At the All-Bengali Music Conference in December 1934, he met the multi-instrumentalist Allauddin Khan. Precisely...
Full Bio
The Essential Ravi Shankar, Ravi Shankar
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: World, Music, Jazz, Asia
  • Released: Oct 24, 2004

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