Album #111 – The Sounds of India
This album was a joy to listen to. I love the music of Ravi Shankar and much like the album Call Of The Valley, this album is beautiful Indian instrumental music. Shankar takes the time on this album to explain the structure of the Ragas he is playing. An Introduction To Indian Music (the album’s first track) explains the basics of Indian music and Shankar concludes this track by saying to the Western music listener to have an open mind and not to compare Indian Raga to Jazz or other Western forms of music. Shankar says one must have an open mind when listening to this music and not expect it to sound Westernized. He is very true about this music. Shankar also starts the album’s other tracks with a brief description of the music about to be played. This album is as informative as it is good. Around this time, George Harrison was learning this art form from Shankar himself and bringing this music to Western ears for the first time. This sound would be something Harrison would include in his music right up until his tragic death in 2001. But, Shankar also influenced countless other Western musicians to incorporate these sounds into their music. Shankar became known for his interpretation of this kind of music and, like Pavarotti popularized Opera, Shankar popularized Indian raga in the Western world. Fun Fact: One of Shankar’s daughters is none other than Norah Jones (who also has an album on the list). I really enjoyed this album. It was relaxing but also a great place for anyone to start exploring Indian raga. I highly recommend this album. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.
Next: Os Mutantes’ self-titled album.