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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

George Harrison/Ravi Shankar - Collaborations

George Harrison/Ravi Shankar - Collaborations
2010, Dark Horse Records/Rhino Entertainment

In honor of Ravi Shankar's 90th birthday, Dark House Records has released a limited edition box set entitled Collaborations, documenting the studio and live work the pair collaborated on starting in 1973 and on-and-off in the late 1990's.  The numbered, limited edition collection includes three classic Ravi Shankar albums, a 56-page book with foreword by Philip Glass and a numbered certificate. 

Collaborations includes the 1974 album Shankar Family & Friends, 1976's The Ravi Shankar Music Festival From India and the 1997 album Chants Of India.  Also included is a DVD featuring a concert performance of Ravi Shankar's Music Festival From India recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1974.  The most compelling album here is Shankar's first, Shankar Family & Friends, which not only features Ustad Alla Rakha, Lakshmi Shankar and Shivkumar Sharma, but also Harrison, Ringo Starr, Tom Scott, Billy Preston, Klaus Voorman and Jim Keltner. 

Skepticism aside, Collaborations is really a collector's piece.  The draw here is the lack of availability of Shankar's music.  Music Festival From India and Shankar Family & Friends have never before appeared on CD, each having been out of print for thirty years or more.  Chants Of India sold over 100,000 copies on its release in 1997 but has been out of print for five years now.  The live performance of Ravi Shankar’s Music Festival From India has never before been released, and also features the audio of the concert remixed by Ravi and Anoushka in 5.1.  Nevertheless, it's hard to imagine the individual albums and concert not appearing in a year or so in standard, stand-alone editions.  This would make a great holiday gift for fans of Shankar or Harrison fans, and probably will have collector value as well.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5) 

Learn more about Ravi Shankar at  Learn more about George Harrison and about Collaborations at  Collaborations is available from as a Limited Edition Box Set or Audio Download.

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