Exposé Online banner

Ravi Shankar — In Hollywood, 1971
(Northern Spy NS 073, 1971/2016, 2LP/CD/DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-03-17

In Hollywood, 1971 Cover art

Reviewing an artist like Ravi Shankar is quite a challenge, and this live set from 46 years ago presents the difficulty in a big way. In Hollywood, 1971 gives us four pieces spanning over two hours. Part of it was originally released on a double-LP set earlier in 2016, but for the CD version, the entire concert is intact. This is definitely a case where the LP format has drawbacks: two of the ragas had to be split across sides, and the third (“Hollywood Raga Vibhas”) was omitted entirely. So light up some incense, turn out the lights, and picture yourself in the home of Ravi Shankar on Highland Avenue in Hollywood, California. The date is June 12, 1971, and you are ready to drift away on magical sounds. The maestro is joined by Alla Rakha on tabla and Kamala Chakravarty on tambura, both of whom appeared with him at the Concert for Bangladesh the following month. The trio presents a masterful performance, executing the traditional form with telepathic ease, building slowly from meditative wanderings to tightly coordinated rhythmic passages. To one not trained in the esoteric details of this music, all you can do is surrender your mind to the flow and enjoy the play of sounds on your consciousness. Obviously this is not music for people in a hurry — listening is a commitment, though I suppose it could function as background music for doing other things. Far be it from me to tell anyone how to listen to music, but this collection certainly rewards closer attention. Is it better than other classic Shankar recordings available? I have no way to judge that. All I can say is that it’s marvellous, and for anyone who wants to have some sitar music in their collection, this is a worthy choice. The sound quality is stunning, crisp and clean and filled with presence. In addition to its value as an artistic statement, In Hollywood, 1971 serves to take a private concert witnessed by a handful of lucky individuals and make it available to the world at large, preserving a little corner of history.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases, 1971 recordings

Related artist(s): Ravi Shankar

More info
http://ravishankar.bandcamp.com/album/in-hollywood-1971-2

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Underground Railroad - The Origin of Consciousness – I found the Underground Railroad’s debut CD to be an uneven affair. Some parts were very good, others less interesting, and in general, the band seemed to be in search of a direction. With their...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues