In the world of world music, not many people enter Western culture. Fela Kuti, Nusrat Ali Khan, King Sunny Ade and the biggest of them all, the sitar great Ravi Shankar, who died recently, a day after his 92nd birthday.
Forever remembered for ribbing the fans at Harrison's "Concert For Bangladesh" for applauding the bands tune up, he was an acquired taste for Western ears, but given the chance it will get to you. Or at least partially. I went to see him at Carnegie Hall ages ago and left after an hour. But the hour I saw I loved, I didn't have the attention span.
Responsible for introducing Indian Rags and Talas to the West, a sound so intricate it took me years to get into it, and also responsible for giving the world Norah Jones, a singer so boring I still don't like her.
Whatever you may think about Budhism and surely it is the smartest of the theists, if not the most fun, their music is pretty damn wonderful.
RIP Ravi, a good life, I hope you come back as a musician again.
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