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Three Ragas Original recording remastered
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Audio, Cassette, Original recording remastered, July 18, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
That's probably not the most popular thing to say, given the fact that his career has been so long and this is not his most famous performance/album, but the proof is in the music itself. He certainly didn't have the degree of fame in 1956 that he would have just a decade later, but his music was peaking. If I were chatting with someone and they offhandedly said that Raga Jog from this disc was the best 28 minutes of Ravi's officially-released career, I would not be inclined to argue with them. If you've been all ga-ga over Monterey Pop for the past 30 years (or 30 days) but you've never heard this album, you should prepare yourself now. Ravi's Monterey Pop performance is but a shadow of what happens here, even though his performance was the highlight of Monterey Pop itself.
The alap, jor, and jhala in Raga Jog are some of the best of Ravi's life. This alap is much more powerful than the alap in Bhimpalasi from Monterey, and here with Chatur Lal on tabla, the gats reveal Ravi at his all-time high in terms of rhythmic sophistication and plain old-fashioned fire power. Not enough good things can be said about Chatur Lal... one of the best tabla players of his generation. An incredible musician who made everyone better around him.
Rags Ahir Bhairav and Simhendra Madhyamam are shorter, compact performances at 15 and 11 minutes respectively but that is fine, especially in light of the fact that several of the Angel-remastered early albums are made up largely of shorter performances... and again, these 2 are at the top of the heap.
If you can only have one Ravi Shankar album, make sure this is the one. After this, take the previous reviewer's advice with respect to Nikhil Banerjee. Nikhil was unbelievably brilliant... a melodic genius.
I was struck by the flawless remastering job, first of all--although this album was recorded in 1956, it could have been recorded yesterday for the freshness and sharpness of the sound. Shankar's performances are beyond reproach--while I wouldn't call this the peak of his career, exactly (unlike one of the previous reviewers), I would say this was a very promising start, and an excellent introduction for anyone to Indian classical music. Raga itself is truly timeless music--it never sounds dated, like some forms of music do, but it is truly the sound of the soul; Ravi even describes "Raga Jog" as the expression of one soul's longing, and you feel this quite strongly.
I purchased this one along with his later work A Morning Raga/An Evening Raga, and had previously purchased Improvisations (his first actual American release, issued by the World Pacific label in 1962 and remastered by Angel-EMI in 1999 as one of the first few titles in the Ravi Shankar Collection series).Read more ›
Anyway, what you DO get is one of the all-time masters of melodic line at peak performance, for an hour. The bunch of this CD is the fast, rhythm-centered sitarwork termed "gat". Not lyrical in a Western sense, but intense, "dancing", unflaggingly inventive twists and turns of melody. Ravi goes all out with one of his favorite tricks here: playing a phrase twice in a row, then playing just the start of it and suddenly veering away into a new melody. A full analysis of all the dozens of ways in which Ravi creates surprise, tension, release, and excitement using just a single melody line would take many pages. To say that he is a master of ornamentation would be just the beginning.
One nice thing is that for each raga you get to hear two different buildups to a climax - the first without tabla (drum) accompaniment and the second, larger buildup, with tabla. It's almost as if there are six performances on the CD, not just three. Very effective - when the drums come in each time, I get the pleasure of knowing that the superlative stringwork still ringing in my ears from the first movement will be topped by the
coming, percussion-accompanied sequel. It is also very nice that the three ragas featured here come from three entirely different melodic families, and create rather different effects.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Please return him to us. We'll gladly give up Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne for this virtuoso.Published 1 month ago by John Brown
Melodic and exotic; I like all of Shankars music, but it's not for everyone. You need to be able to relate to different musical forms to get into Indian ragas.Published 5 months ago by KOZ
Amazing music! It would be interesting to know how / whether this music influenced other music of the time.Published 8 months ago by Robert Jerme
Ravi is the face of sitar music. This is a good collection. If you are into this type of music, track down Nikhil Banerjee, too.Published 10 months ago by Anne Brody
An essential collection-- I can leave this on all evening on a loop and feel somehow both relaxed and energized. A staple in our home as well as my spa studio.Published 10 months ago by Lisette
I'm with consensus on this one. It's pure, it's ethereal and it's the music you need to warm up for those nasty bardos! Great CDPublished 16 months ago by J.Brahin