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Ravi Shankar, In Hollywood, 1971 (Northern Spy Records)




Ravi Shankar, In Hollywood, 1971 (Northern Spy Records)
Cd Reviews: May 5, 2016

05/05/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Ravi Shankar, In Hollywood, 1971 (Northern Spy Records)

I’ve met young people who literally do not know who The Beatles were, so an introduction may be in order here. This Indian sitar master (and the father of Norah Jones) is forever emblazoned on the patchwork quilt of 1960s/’70s pop culture after inspiring George Harrison to add sitar to the Beatles track “Norwegian Wood,” which later led to Harrison’s featuring Shankar in his “Concert for Bangladesh,” an event that sought funding for the flood of refugees escaping the country’s war-related genocide (this was back when rock stars consistently strove to do something more than help rack up “likes” for corporate brands). This previously unreleased record consists of a set of four “ragas” (song frameworks) spotlighting Shankar’s hypnotic, seemingly monotonal wizardry, accompanied only by Alla Rakha on tabla drums and Kamala Chakravarty on the stringed tanpura. It captures a private morning concert held at Shankar’s home, where Harrison, who was in attendance, first heard of Shanker’s concern over the Bangladesh catastrophe. Thus, aside from being a prime example of Shankar’s improvisational skill, it’s as well a part of history (sales of the live Concert for Bangladesh album and DVD still benefit UNICEF to this day). A+





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