Review - Full Circle - Carnegie Hall 2000

Artist: Ravi Shankar

Most Americans, when they think of Indian music, probably think of two things: the time Apu came to live with the Simpsons ... and Ravi Shankar. Shankar was 83 years old when he delivered this Carnegie Hall performance -- a collaboration with his daughter Anoushka and four other musicians. It is an exotic, magnetic example of Indian classical music as played by the man many see as having brought it to the world.

The music feels rambling, light, floaty, almost stream-of-consciousness. The drums (tablas) almost sound as if they're underwater at times, making the sitar's curling notes that much more dreamy. The three tracks move around from deliberate and meditative to surprisingly intense, sensual crescendos. Shankar's mastery will please old fans and impress new ones. Isn't it amazing what 63 years of practice can do?

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