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

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

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Rich - Geometry – As the title implies, this reissue — originally recorded in 1987-88 and previously only available as a French import CD — crosses the bridges between mathematics and music, applying these...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues