Ravi Shankar: The Living Room Sessions Part 2
Ravi Shankar was just a little more than a year from death when he recorded a burst of intimate ragas at his home in Encinitas, Calif., in October 2011. The first volume, released the following April, won a Grammy for Best World Music Album earlier this year. This is the rest: three ragas, ranging from 11 minutes to just more than 22 minutes. They are, by necessity and design, low-key affairs. Shankar was, after all, 91 years old at the time, and to ask a musician of that age to match the intensity and dexterity displayed at a younger age would be foolish. But the recording, made with longtime tabla accompanist Tanmoy Bose and two tanpura players, is also gentler because the surroundingsâ€”a living roomâ€”called for it. Thatâ€™s not to imply that Shankar had lost his gift: The warmth and soul coming from his mind and fingers never flagged, even as his health faded.