indian music review sitar traditional world world music

Ravi Shankar – Nine Decades Vol. 6 Dutch-India Airwaves Review

Rare early recordings from the sitar legend

On the 27th of May 1957, Ravi Shankar (sitar), Chatur Lal (tabla) and Nodu Mallick (tanpura) performed in Amsterdam at the Concertgebouw. Whilst this isn’t a recording of that concert, they played at the Radio Netherlands studio earlier that day. This is that recording.

The short EP contains two interviews that were recorded in a museum in Leiden. One is in English and the other is in Hindi and they both talk about the early fusion of East meets West through music. They total just shy of 20 minutes together and offer a light but interesting insight into Ravi’s early travels.

Ravi Shankar

I came for the music primarily though and the two raga’s here are beautiful. ‘Raga on the Airwaves Tilak Shyam’ and ‘Raga on the Airwaves Dhun’ both gather moment over their nine minute runs. All three players play bombastically towards the latter third and the recordings are of excellent quality. I believe the music is improvised but not a single beat is out of place.

Ravi Shankar fans should enjoy finding these rare performances as part of their collection. New fans may not find this the easiest way to start listening to his music though. It gives a little splash of many different intensities without lingering on any of them so it might not quite scratch your itch. If it clicks though, you’ll be delighted.

Favourite track: Raga on the Airwaves Dhun

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Ravi Shankar - Dutch-India Airwaves

7.5

7.5/10

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