- Audio CD (October 4, 2005)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Original recording remastered
- Label: RCA
- ASIN: B000AO4NL8
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,303 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
The Essential Ravi Shankar Original recording remastered
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Top Customer Reviews
Disc 1: Out of the East (74:40)
Most of these tracks are ragas and are taken from his albums of the fifties and sixties. The most recent is "Dhun: Fast Teental" from 1967, the same year Shankar earned both the Billboard Recording Artist and Musician of the year honors. All tracks feature a small ensemble with Shankar accompanied only by tabla and tambura (and sarod on "Raga Palas Kafi)."
Disc 2: Into the West (78:29)
The tracks on this disc feature Shankar in collaboration with Western musicians. "Swara-Kakali" features famed violinist Yehudi Menuhin. "Discovery of India" is from the soundtrack album GHANDI, for which Shankar received an Oscar nomination for best score. There are two tracks from 1990's PASSAGES, which teamed Shankar with minimalist composer Phillip Glass. "Ragas in Minor Scale" features Shankar's ensemble playing a Glass composition, while "Offering" has Glass's ensemble performing a Shankar composition (the only track that Shankar does not perform on).
And, of course, it's only fitting that Shankar's most famous disciple be included.Read more ›
This two-CD set is actually more thoughtfully compiled than I imagined. Among my favorite recordings of his would be the 1990 album "Passages" - a true desert island recording - with Phillip Glass (1937). I assumed that album was too esoteric to be represented here, but it is, by two selections on disc 2. Disc 1, entitled "Out Of The East", features mostly ragas, spanning the decade from 1957 - 1967, from notable albums such as "The Sounds of India" (1954), "The Genius of Ravi Shankar" (1957) and "India's Master Musician" (1963.) "Into The West" is the title of disc 2 and it's 13 tracks, not surprisingly, feature Shankar performing with the likes of violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), George Harrison (1943-2001), guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and minimalist composer Phillip Glass.
I happen to like the traditional ragas but also the newer, easier-to-digest material, such as the George Harrison collaboration "Village Dance" from 1987's "Tana Mana.Read more ›
Harrison declared Shankar the "Godfather of world music," as the back of the CD indicates, and this collection is a perfect testament to why that's true. While the form may not be to everyone's taste here in the West, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable entree into--or a more skilled ambassador of--this beautiful musical heritage.
This CD, however, is truly made up of the best of Ravi Shankar. If you only wish to own one Ravi Shankar CD then this is for you.
Another bonus is that many of these tracks are not as readily available as one might like (I've yet to find a copy of the Chappaqua soundtrack anywhere), so their inclusion here is all the more welcomed. It is also helpful if one does not wish to buy every CD of Ravi-ji's music currently available; as it was, I already owned 4 or 5 of the Angel/EMI remasters (most of which are not covered by this compilation, making it, and them, more worthwhile). However, if you are as musically adventurous as I am, you'll start here and scour the world music bins of every record shop you can find to track down other Ravi Shankar albums.
Other Ravi Shankar titles I would recommend include Three Ragas (1956), Improvisations (1962; includes variations on the music he recorded as the soundtrack to the Indian film "Pather Panchali"), A Morning Raga/An Evening Raga (1968), East Meets West (1970; his collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin), and Inside the Kremlin (1988; a brilliant collaboration with classical musicians from Russia).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some really great Indian music!!!!! Also, very interesting as well!!!!!!Published 10 months ago by Blondie39
Spiritually aesthetic, and wonderful for those moments when you need to clear your mind of stress for a bit.Published 15 months ago by Aaron
I purchased this as a gift- it's super for background music at the office or to set the mood at the end of the day.Published on February 27, 2011 by J Clare
I just saw him in NYC,and he is just amazing . I absolutely love every single track in this albumPublished on October 16, 2009 by Helen M