Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan: In Concert 1972

  • August 26, 2019

In Concert 1972 is a double live album by sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and sarodya Ali Akbar Khan, released in 1973 on Apple Records. It was recorded at the Philharmonic Hall, New York City, in October 1972, and is a noted example of the two Hindustani classical musicians’ celebrated jugalbandi (duet) style of playing. With accompaniment from tabla player Alla Rakha, the performance reflects the two artists’ sorrow at the recent death of their revered guru, and Khan’s father, Allauddin Khan. The latter was responsible for many innovations in Indian music during the twentieth century, including the call-and-response dialogue that musicians such as Shankar, Khan and Rakha popularised among Western audiences in the 1960s.

The album features three ragas, including “Raga Sindhi Bhairavi”, which Ali Akbar Khan had previously interpreted on his landmark 1955 recording Music of India. In Concert 1972 has received critical acclaim; Ken Hunt of Gramophone magazine described it as a “sometimes smouldering, sometimes fiery, masterpiece” and “the living, fire-breathing embodiment of one of the greatest partnerships ever forged in Hindustani [classical music]”.[1]

In Concert 1972 was produced by George Harrison, Zakir Hussain and Phil McDonald. It was the final Shankar-related release on the Beatles’ Apple label, following his and Harrison’s work together on Raga and The Concert for Bangladesh. Apple issued In Concert 1972 on CD in 1996 and 2004, reuniting the 50-minute “Raga Manj Khamaj”, which had previously been split over two LP sides.

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