indian music

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Anoushka Shankar: Rise (EMI)

Anoushka Shankar: Rise (EMI)

After a couple of straight (and slightly disappointing) sitar albums and an acclaimed live recording, this 2006 outing by the daughter of Ravi Shankar (one of them, another is Norah Jones) is widely considered her breakthrough.As with her father, she here acknowledged she lived in two worlds -- the traditional East and the contemporary West --...

Debashish Bhattacharya / Bob Brozman: Mahima (Riverboat)

Debashish Bhattacharya / Bob Brozman: Mahima (Riverboat)

American guitarist and raconteur Brozman was one of the unexpected delights at the 2003 Womad, where he appeared with Takashi Hirayasu playing Okinawan folk songs which they took off into the realms of Delta blues, soul funk, punk and boogie. Brozman is one of those irritatingly gifted performers who seems to acknowledge no boundaries between...

Shivkumar Sharma, Brijbushan Kabra, Hariprasad Chaurasia: Call of the Valley (1967)

Shivkumar Sharma, Brijbushan Kabra, Hariprasad Chaurasia: Call of the Valley (1967)

When this beautiful, elegant tone poem of Indian classical music was reissued in 1995 on the EMI Hemisphere label (with three extra tracks), people like me with a long affection for Indian music could hardly believe our luck. It was one of those long-hard-to-find albums -- although it had been kept in print in India, where I'd bought a bad...

Bapi Das Baul: Sufi Baul; Madness and Happiness (Arc)

Bapi Das Baul: Sufi Baul; Madness and Happiness (Arc)

Perhaps the only Sufi musician many are familiar with is the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but his uplifting, sky-scaling vocals and the joyous spiritual elevation of his music might recommend this one. Let's hope so. Bapi Das Baul is of the itinerant Baul tradition whose people follow a kind of divinely ecstatic madness and celebration of the...

Lakshmi Shankar: I Am Missing You (1974)

Lakshmi Shankar: I Am Missing You (1974)

When George Harrison established his own Dark Horse record label it allowed him to release projects that were close to his spiritual heart, if not exactly commercial propositions. That said, both the Shankar Family and Friends (1974) and Ravi Shankar's Music Festival from India ('76) albums were absolute delights of immacuately produced,...

ORNETTE COLEMAN, DAVE BRUBECK AND ME: A Song For Guy

ORNETTE COLEMAN, DAVE BRUBECK AND ME: A Song For Guy

Ronnie Wickens was one of the last to leave my 50th birthday party at Portside. As I made for the door I looked back, and there he was at the bar chatting to -- maybe even chatting up -- a couple of girls in their 20s, friends of my sons' no doubt. Ronnie was somewhere past 60, but he still looked great. I don't recall what he was wearing...

BOB BROZMAN INTERVIEWED (2011) All the world's a stage, and he plays on it

BOB BROZMAN INTERVIEWED (2011) All the world's a stage, and he plays on it

American guitarist Bob Brozman must have an impressive passport. For the past two decades he has been almost itinerant as he has played across the planet from Hawaii to Mali, Okinawa to Papua New Guinea. And along the way he has collaborated with some exceptional musicians, among them Indian slide guitarist Debashish Battacharya for the...

RAJENDRA PRASANNA AND THE SPIRIT OF INDIA (2011): Family matters

RAJENDRA PRASANNA AND THE SPIRIT OF INDIA (2011): Family matters

In many ways, the Indian musician Rajendra Prasanna is an emblem of his country's classical tradition. As with so many Indian musicians, he grew up in the gurukal system where he was one of a long lineage who had been taught by their musician father who would pass on the knowledge acquired from the previous generation. Prasanna's father...

ANOUSHKA SHANKAR INTERVIEWED (2008): Never in the shadow

ANOUSHKA SHANKAR INTERVIEWED (2008): Never in the shadow

As two Lennons and any number of Marleys might tell you, it isn’t easy carrying the name of a famous musician father, especially if you want a career in the business yourself. Certainly doors may open that otherwise wouldn’t -- but because of that critics and the public often treat your career with some scepticism, you have to...

Kolkota, India: A confusion of Nevilles

Kolkota, India: A confusion of Nevilles

He said his name was Stephen and my father and I were too weary to disbelieve him. It was only mid-morning near Kolkota's Dalhousie Square and already we were worn down by the press of hands-out humanity, hucksters and humidity. So when Stephen walked up and introduced himself we just kept on moving. He did the usual persistent questions: Can...

Ravi Shankar, Improvisations (1962)

Ravi Shankar, Improvisations (1962)

George Harrison quite correctly referred to the sitar master Pandit Ravi Shankar as "the godfather of world music" -- and Shankar was creating and giving his blessing to cross-cultural fusions and experiments long before the phrase "world music" was even thought of. There are of course many dozens of Shankar albums in the...

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