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

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nurse with Wound & collaborators - Angry Eelectric Finger 1-3 – Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, for a journey into the outer cosmos. Or the inner depths. Whatever. Three journeys, actually. The genesis of this material seems to involve NWW’s Steve...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues