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Ravi Shankar

Nine Decades - Vol.1

East meets West, $19.99
Item Number: hm-emwm1000

 

The first in a multi-volume series featuring rare and never-released recordings, hand-picked by Ravi Shankar from his vast archive. With live performances and studio recordings pivotal to his development as an artist and reflective of unique times and places, the series will provide fresh insights on a career spanning 70-plus years. "Raga Gangeshwari," the centerpiece of volume one, takes listeners to an outdoor concert at a temple on the banks of the Ganges in 1968. Though recorded with one hand-held microphone, "Raga Gangeshwari" is representative of the archive's many treasures which the artist describes as, "not recorded with sophisticated audio equipment and yet they exhibit the power of life in live performance that has a value beyond any technological shortcomings." The intimate quality of the recording and virtuosic playing allows listeners to experience a page from the artist's diary circa 1968. Performed with Kamala Chakravarty on tanpura and the great Ustad Allah Rakha on tabla.


Some suggestions:

Lena Willemark : Blåferdį (Blue Journey)
Features songs and lyrics, composed by Lena, sung in the Elfdalian language of her home region of Avdalen, Sweden. Program notes and lyrics are translated to Swedish and English in the booklet. It's performed with voice, strings and percussion supplied by Lena, Mia Marin, Emma Reid, Mikael Marin, Leo Sander and Tina Quartey. (Quite a cast!) It is, I think, one of her best (and that goes a long way, I think), so this comes with my biggest "highly recommended" gold star on it. In stock now.


various artists : Stilling Time: Traditional musics of Vietnam
American musician Philip Blackburn travelled to Vietnam in late 1993 to record the village music of the nation and came home with a remarkable portrait of a culture both deeply reverential of the past and yet still dynamic and growing.


Egeland, Molsky and Jarvela : Rauland Rambles
American Bruce Molsky, Finn Arto Järvelä and Norwegian Ånon Egeland join together in a traditional music tour de force. Fiddles abound, along with banjo and touches of ukelele, kantele and jew's harp. They play each others folk music like a natural part of their DNA. It's seamless and vibrant. And it is all recorded at a live concert.


Monsieur Doumani : Angathin (The Thorn)
This trio was founded in 2011 in Nicosia, Cyprus by Antonis Antoniou (tzouras), Angelos Ionas (guitar) and Demetris Yiasemides (trombone, flute). They turn Cypriot folk music inside out, add poetry and politics, and on their third album, they have created what I think is a masterwork of nearly-all-acoutic folk, rock and roots.


Wimme and Rinne : Human
Two of Finland's bravest artists, Tapani Rinne and Wimme Sari, join forces again to explore the limits of human voice and human instruments. Based on the ancient Sámi joik singing, the two artists stretch the boundaries to find beauty, energy and occasionally, the dissonance of the music, propelled by Tapani Rinne's clarinets and electronic processing, aided on some tracks by additional voices, fiddle, piano or percussion. This was the Music of the Month pick in RootsWorld for July, 2017.


Camilla Granlien : Begjaer
On Begjćr the Norwegian singer offers a gorgeous a capella performance of traditional folk songs


Kandia Kouyate : Renascence
The Mandé art of jeliya carries a long and complex tradition of fine distinctions and endless debates about the qualities that earn its hereditary poets, musicians and soothsayers the highest accolades and honorifics. But on the great jelimusolu (female singers) of our time, there is near-unanimity regarding Kandia Kouyaté: she is a ngara. More than a skilled singer, a ngara is the extraordinary artist who possesses what many would say is a paranormal aura of majesty. Read more and listen.


Fernhill : Na Pradle
Na prádle is the 2006 concert recording by this important European ensemble, a reworking and reinventing of songs from their long time together, looking at the songs in a new ways. For old friends of the band, this is essential.


 


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