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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #1 
Ok- anyone who thought this was going to be a big, high profile, over hyped, Raviji past his prime concert really was mistaken- including me!! I almost passed it up. However, I realized that, if nothing else, I should see Raviji while he's still on earth. He is 86. It was at the University of Aeizona's Centennial Hall, in Tucson. Folks, the concert was incredible! The first half saw 11 musicians take the stage- Sarod, Saraswati Veena, bonsuri, shenai, male vocalist, female vocalist, tabla (Tamnoy Bose), sitar (Anoushka- also conducting from her spot), pakavaj and assorted percussion, violin, and a combination tanpura/swaramandal instrument I'd never seen before. The pieces ranged from strict raga based compositions to progressive, even with some western harmonies between instruments type stuff. Ravi has written amazing ensemble pieces over the last several decades. It was a real treat for the ears. Of course, as you might have guessed,every soloist was incredible. Ehen the ensemble got done playing a complex melodic loine that would take me forever to memorize, a soloist would then be featured. Every solo just smoked! Anoushka's speed and intensity were impressive. She is getting more liberal in her improvs and I know she is always under the wing of Papi on these tours but when her day comes to be on her own, watvch out. Mark my words, doubters! Then agsain she may just go more into her more pop stuff. Hey she's young! But seriously, her playing was incredible and more daring than I have ever heard her. The second half was Rasviji, Anoushka, Tanmoy Bose and two drones. The played Raga Jog, in rupaktal. Ravi has not lost anything whe it comes to his phrasing and playing with the tal. He was inventive constantly and was having a ball with his complex tihais, smiling broadly when he and the tabla hit the sam. The communication between him and Anoushka is first rate, each of them imitating the other's improvs at lightning speed. No arthritis evident in those 86 year old hands tonight, I can vouche for that! The last piece was Raga Pancham Se Gara, a piece he has used a lot lately. It is done as a very liberal dhun, shifting ragas and changing tals, before returning to fast unison lines between the two sitars. They really had fun with it and took it way out there for a while. I'll tell you something- Raviji sounded better, quicker, and more playful then 6 yers ago. It even surprised me! When he left the stage, he didn't just bow and walk off- he waves. He waved all the way to tghe wings, with a big smile on his face. I was feeling deply touched, knowing that he might truly be playing in all these cities for the last time. I felt blessed to have been there. On a whole, the concert was great. We all know and expect that the Shankars are going to be a big show, a lot of hype, a lot of people attending who have never heard of Shahid Parvez or any other Indian musician besides Ravi and Anoushka. Yes, it's high profile stuff abnd its high dollar hype. But don't that to the dozen musicians I heard tonight! They played their asses off and had a ball. It was great music. Perod!
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sitarman

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Posts: 599
Reply with quote  #2 
Sorry for so many typos, folks. Just had to get it all out!!
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Anonymous

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Reply with quote  #3 
That was exactly my feelings and observations when he played in Austin. What really surprised me was that his section of the show was supposed to be 1 hour and he played for 2 hours straight.

At 86 he's still going great.

Bharat
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