This is a re-release of a World Pacific LP from 1968. Although the liner notes allude to Shankar being in New York for a series of concerts at Philharmonic Hall, there is no indication from the recording that this is a live date; the notes simply state "recorded in New York City." Shankar is joined by longtime partner and tabla master Alla Rakha and Shyam But-Nagar on tamboura. The program consists of two morning ragas: the brief "Raga Bairagi" and "Nata Bhairavi," as well as an evening piece, "Raga Marwa." Due to the nature of LPs at the time, the ragas are slightly compressed for time, moving relatively quickly through the alap and jor portions of the raga. This may make the pieces more approachable to western ears, since the pulse-less, free form alap is not really a part of western musical vocabulary. When they do get to the jhala, or final movement, the dexterity and interplay of Shankar and Rakha are dazzling, demonstrating why they are considered two of India's finest musicians, even to this day. Ravi Shankar in New York is one of several good places to start investigating Indian classical music, or a fine addition to any collection.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard