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Improvisations Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, April 6, 1999
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1961
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Angel Records
  • ASIN: B00000ID4F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,148 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Shankar's Improvisations puts tradition alongside fusion, East next to West. Recorded about 35 years ago, the album still sounds fresh. It opens with a sitar/flute call-and-answer, leaps into an electric guitar-supported jazz piece, moves to a short and quick sitar showcase, and wraps up with a 20-minute traditional raga. From the very first note, the raga proves exceptionally evocative. The entire album is well-suited to Western tastes, featuring Shankar at his best both as a composer and as a virtuoso.
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Format: Audio CD
I still have my worn copy of the original (1962) LP of this collection; the CD is it's equal in all respects for sound quality and liner notes. The collection is remarkable for combining the talents of Shankar with the flute artistry of Bud Shank in the improvisation on the themes of the Pather Panchali film score, resulting in a beautiful and emotionally moving fusion. The equally fusion 'Fire Night' jam session brings together the fires in LA valley, that happened during the recording session, with the dance of Shiva the Destroyer in a rather spookily merry piece.

The remaining two traditional pieces are a bonus, showing Shankar's talent at his peak.

A must-have collection at a bargain price!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I share the fondness of the other reviewers for this recording, but I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it's 'well suited to Western tastes.' Indian music has seen limited acceptance here in the West largely because it does not adhere to the same melodic and rhythmic structures that we use, and in most regards this album is no exception to that. Aside from the jazz-influenced "Fire Night," these are all true Indian classical works. There is a nice mix, however, as the "Improvisations" piece gives the listener a taste of Indian film music (which is immensely popular there), while "Karnataki" is from the Carnatic (southern India) school and the longer "Raga Rageshri" is from the Hindustani (northern India) classical sound. "Fire Night," meanwhile, was an effort by Shankar to mix jazz fusion with the music of his homeland, and it's magnificent. I wish it had caught on more as a movement. You hear this piece and you feel like you're sitting in a beatnik coffee house.

Ultimately, this album is a great introduction to Shankar's work and to Indian classical in general. However, for those interested in a slightly more accessible entre (in the Western sense), his "West Meets East" collaborations with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and others might be a more ideal starting point.
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By jayeff on February 1, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
there are no words to describe this man, nor this recording. Play it in a darkened room and just let yourself go. your life will never the the same.
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Format: Audio CD
Ravi Shankar

"Improvisations"

- Improvisations on the theme music from "Pather Panchali" (movie)
- Fire Night
- Karqalaki
- Raga Rageshri (Part 1)
- (Part 2)
- (Part 3)

(Angel - ADD - 1962 - remastered)

This album from 1962 gained some attention for Ravi Shankar in the west and for good reason; this is a wonderful introduction to the musicianship and style of the music of India. This is a Five Star album.
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