Ravi Shankar/Philip Glass: Ragas In Minor Scale
Ragas In Minor Scale
Passages (Private Music 2074)
Recorded: Madras, India and New York, early 1990
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
"Ragas in Minor Scale," performed by master musicians Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, is an interesting slice of East-West fusion. While Glass' extensive training is most evident in the properly constructed composition, Shankar adds some very enticing embellishments upon the main theme on an instrument that is generally a stranger to the musical scope of such composers as Glass. Both men sound at ease well outside of what should be perceived as their respective comfort zones, and the music glides along effortlessly.
Everyone involved is obviously having a great time playing music that audibly sounds carefree, yet scholars may notice that the musicians throw a wrench into the plans by adding some major keyed trills at the very end that defy the song title's notion that the ragas are strictly performed in minor keys.
Shankar himself is responsible for mixing up some of the modes; after all, his general improvisational style, though evolved, has always utilized such ironies, and this recording is no exception. The energetic diversity is always fresh here, and the aura of respectability looms large as everyone emerges from the session as golden as the morning sunrise that the ragas seem to symbolize.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary