The great Ravi Shankar passed away yesterday at the age of 92.
Far afield from the droning, psychedelic, incense-burning improv one tends to associate with Ravi Shankar, “NIGHTMARE Dispute & Violence,” begins as a familiar call & response Indian raga before suddenly erupting into a prog-style romp, a la King Crimson. Side two of Ravi Shankar’s Shankar Family & Friends is to Indian music what Astor Piazzolla is to Tango – unrestricted by convention and progressive beyond the music’s genre. The side long suite retains the culture’s dreamy, mystical allure, but Shankar’s compositional approach is a triumph and a testament to his career-long battle with classical Indian purists. Side one is the more conventional, vocally oriented Indian fare, opening with “I Am Missing You,” a track noticeably produced by George Harrison and released as a single in conjunction with the duo’s 1974 tour of America. It’s a horrible, Spector-ish, wall of sound attempt at “commercial” Hindi music… which I still skip to this day. Those interested should seek out Ravi’s In Celebration – Highlights, for his own delicate and far superior version. That said, side two’s provocative and inventive Dream/Nightmare/Dawn suite should be a valued addition to any collection. This is a remastered rip from the 2010 multi-disc set, Collaborations, which contains Shankar Family & Friends, at a much nicer price. Or… try a wormhole.
I Am Missing You (3:42)
Kahan Gayelava Shyam (2:54)
Supane Me Aye Preetam Sainya (4:17)
I Am Missing You (Reprise) (4:05)
Jaya Jagadish Hare (4:59)
DREAM Festivity & Joy (3:58)
DREAM Love-Dance Ecstasy (3:13)
NIGHTMARE Lust (3:14)
NIGHTMARE Dispute & Violence (2:45)
NIGHTMARE Disillusionment & Frustration (2:48)
NIGHTMARE Despair & Sorrow (3:06)
DAWN Awakening (2:32)
DAWN Peace & Hope (5:02)