Multi-instrumentalist L. Shankar’s fascinating evolution as a musician and composer took yet another intimate turn with M.R.C.S. Dedicated to Shankar’s father, V. Lakshminarayana, it also boasts master percussionists Zakir Hussain (tabla), Vikku Vinayakram (ghatam), and drummer Jon Christensen. The depths of the album’s experiences are forever aquatic, as in the opening “Adagio,” which floats Shankar’s double violin insights on a dark and winding current.
After the great success of her DG debut Traveller which spent 6 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboards World Music chart and received a Grammy nomination, Anoushka Shankar returns with another outstanding recording: Traces of You, featuring three new songs with her half-sister, Norah Jones. Produced by British composer and multi-instrumentalist Nitin Sawhney, Traces of You features contributions by Anoushkas longtime associates: tabla genius Tanmoy Bose, flutist Ravichandra Kulur, and percussion wizard Pirashanna Thevarajah. Other highlights are a musical exploration of the unique sound of the Hang drum, played by its foremost exponent, Manu Delago.
A collaboration between an avant-garde modern classical composer and a traditional Indian/Hindi composer/performer seems as unlikely as ice hockey on the River Styx. However, Passages is a collaboration between Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar and it works quite well. Shankar's smooth style fits nicely with Glass' dissonant orchestrations. There is a great deal of technical data involved here. Both of these artists have long taken intellectual approaches to music. Thus, the liner notes are a bit heavy-handed. The music is brilliant. The symphony dominates the soundscapes, but Shankar's atmospheres are integral to the success of this project.
Ravi Shankar: In Celebration is a compilation box set by Indian classical musician and composer Ravi Shankar, released in 1996 on Angel Records in conjunction with Dark Horse Records. The four discs cover Shankar's international career, from the 1950s to the mid 1990s, and include recordings originally released on the World Pacific, HMV, Angel, Apple, Dark Horse and Private Music record labels. Shankar's friend George Harrison compiled and co-produced the set, which was issued as part of year-long celebrations for Shankar's 75th birthday.