As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, Ravi Shankar has arguably done more to popularize Indian music than any other Indian musician. Indeed, his greatest legacy may be his ability to make Indian classical music more accessible to Western audiences without compromising the idiom itself. Mainly a practitioner of the north Indian Hindustani style of music, Ravi Shankar has nonetheless also experimented with styles from other areas of the continent.
A collaboration between an avant-garde modern classical composer and a traditional Indian/Hindi composer/performer seems as unlikely as ice hockey on the River Styx. However, Passages is a collaboration between Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar and it works quite well. Shankar's smooth style fits nicely with Glass' dissonant orchestrations. There is a great deal of technical data involved here. Both of these artists have long taken intellectual approaches to music. Thus, the liner notes are a bit heavy-handed. The music is brilliant. The symphony dominates the soundscapes, but Shankar's atmospheres are integral to the success of this project.
Ravi Shankar: In Celebration is a compilation box set by Indian classical musician and composer Ravi Shankar, released in 1996 on Angel Records in conjunction with Dark Horse Records. The four discs cover Shankar's international career, from the 1950s to the mid 1990s, and include recordings originally released on the World Pacific, HMV, Angel, Apple, Dark Horse and Private Music record labels. Shankar's friend George Harrison compiled and co-produced the set, which was issued as part of year-long celebrations for Shankar's 75th birthday.
The creative process is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a musician. Whether or not one aspires to be a songwriter, musicianship can only be enhanced by understanding the music that we play from the inside. However, becoming a songwriter or improving your songwriting is an unparalleled artistic achievement for the musically inclined. It is a journey into your soul; an expression of your being.
Jack DeJohnette knows how to turn traditions inside out. He can invest light-touch cymbal playing with the feel of pulsing funk. His freer patterns of blast can sound like some of the most refined avant-percussion you've ever heard. Though while DeJohnette is obviously an original, he's not bent on tearing down all the boundaries between jazz sub-genres. His engagement with various aspects of blues and swing flows from an evident reverence for each specific style. Even when pushing his own creative language to new places, DeJohnette manages to keep the inherited forms in view.