Ravi Shankar Project: Village Dance
Ravi Shankar (sitar)
The Essential Ravi Shankar (Legacy 71610)
Patrick O’ Hearn (bass), Markandeya Mishra (tabla), Kumar Bose (tabla, duggla), Prodyot Sen (tambura), Shubho Shankar (sitar, vocals), Lakshmi Shankar (vocals), Ray Cooper (marimba), Frank Serafine (synthesizer).
Composed by Ravi Shankar.
Recorded: no location given, mid-1987
Rating: 83/100 (learn more)
Passable, yet somewhat unengaging, Ravi Shankar Project's "Village Dance" is a track that sounds like the production was warmed-over to provide the most commercial viability possible. The playing is great, of course, but the thick reverb washes away most of the recording and the rest of the musical elements ride atop the effect until the discerning listener wishes for a drier mix.
The composition itself (featuring several blistering resolves) seems fine, but the recording does not represent what it sounds like the ensemble was shooting for from the get-go. Musically, Shankar is the star; even though the players are sharing space effectively, he stands out despite the watery sonic presentation and performs in the reliable manner expected of him on all of his material. You can picture people doing tribal dances to this music while dwelling in second or third world villages, and at least that portion of the goal was achieved. Kudos to the participants regardless of however flabbily they were captured in the studio, because the dynamics are completely absent and any potentially colorful elements are washed out by a monochromic tint.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary