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

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Tractor's Revenge - Othello – Tractor’s Revenge is a four piece act which embraces the darker side of gothic progressive rock much in the vein of Belgium’s Universe Zero. Led by Avi Bellili, the twelve pieces on this recording...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues