In traditional South Indian music, an especially prominent string instrument is the vina, which has an easily recognizable sound. Of all the instruments heard on River Yamuna -- a fine collection of ragas and classic South Indian styles -- it is the vina of Dr. K. Raghavendra that stands out the most. A senior member of the traditional South Indian outfit known as the Karnataka College of Percussion, Raghavendra plays a newer portable version of the instrument with plenty of soul and warmth on these enriching songs (many instrumental, some with vocals). Among the other noteworthy members of Karnataka heard on River Yamuna are female singer R.A. Ramamani, flutist V.K. Raman, and tamboura player M.A. Nagaraj. But it must be stressed that Raghavendra's vina is the thing that stands out the most. Whether embracing traditional pieces like "Raga Sudha" or "Bhajan" or contributing his own compositions, Raghavendra leaves no doubt that his love of the vina runs deep.
River Yamuna Review
by Alex Henderson