Tony Scott

Music for Yoga Meditation and Other Joys

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With a title and front cover like this, one would expect 1968's Music for Yoga Meditation and Other Joys to have come out on an obscure San Francisco label run out of the back room of a natural foods store and feature amateurish players no one had ever heard of before or since. Yet, this duet album between clarinetist Tony Scott -- a former hard bop player in the '50s who had become drawn into world music and a style that can only be called proto-ambient -- and sitar player Collin Walcott is actually not just a lifestyle curio, but a musically interesting lifestyle curio. Strip away the Age of Aquarius trappings (although the liner notes are good for an ironic giggle) and Music for Yoga Meditation and Other Joys is not dissimilar to what Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders would get up to over the next decade: long, flowing melodies and one-chord drones colored by elements of Indian classical music and other world music influences. The nine tracks explore a surprising variety of moods and tonalities given the self-limiting instrument lineup, and though this is too twee and hippie-ish to be called jazz, ambient and space rock fans will be fascinated by it.

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