11 July 2011

Kalyani Roy and Ali Ahmed Hussein - 1968 - Soul of India

Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5

I'm going to go ahead and guess that this release was intended to latch onto the coattails of Ravi Shankar's appearance at the Monterrey Pop Festival (in fact, Ravi's 1968 release was 'Spirit of India') along with a general interest in Eastern mysticism. Fortunately, this is no exploitation release, but legitimate Indian musicians doing their thing. Kalyani Roy was one of the few female sitarists at that time, while Ali Ahmed Hussain is wailing away on a shehnai, which is a wind instrument that sounds somewhere in between a violin and a horn. You'll get the needed dose of tabla pounding as well. Expect a completely traditional affair, with no postmodern touches or anything.

There's only three tracks here, so you're either 'in for another long raga' as Krusty the Clown would say, or you're not. If you're down for this kind of thing, this album is an affair with lots of color added to the general raga vibe courtesy of the shehnai. I enjoy the whole thing, but honestly, I don't know enough about classical Indian to really distinguish much between the tracks. They all seem to more or less go down the same sonic path - but the trail is clearly being led by master musicians.

I've played this collection often, and I've sort of considered it one of my 'mind bubblebaths.' I don't tend to fixate or concentrate on the actual music much, but it creates a cloud of sound that I find very appealing. I'm sure there are some major musical point or accomplishments that I'm totally missing here, but something about the spirit of the recordings has definitely burrowed in my brain.


Anonymous said...


Hal Miller said...

Sounds intriguing. Gonna check this out!

Timmy said...

Nice stuff. I'll die listening to this. Thank you for giving me a way out

Anonymous said...

thanks amigo, sounds like fun.

Martin said...

Working link:

Great album, by the way, it has taken me to whole new dimensions. I love the combination of strings (sitar), wind (shehnai) and percussion (tabla)

Anonymous said...