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Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #1 
I am sure most of you would agree that there are very few Ravi Shankar alaaps of significant length that we can listen to. I do not learn sitar, but am very interested in it. I am a film student and would like to emulate the logic of jod taans in Ravi Shankar style in films. This is largely because I am very interested in the temporal or time based cinema school of director Robert Bresson. I find Ravi Shankar's approach to music the equivalent of Bresson in cinema.
Further on my grand uncles who have heard both UVK and PRS several times seem to think that PRS's alaap is far superior. Now I am quite sure that some of us would disagree with this. But that is precisely why I think his alaap the most significant portion in his playing needs to be studied.
There are only significant recordings that i can think of
1) Darbari 56 (esnips)
2) Darbari London 30 (esnips)
3) Bhimpalasi 27
4) Jaijaivanti 35 (esnips)
5) Malkauns 20
6) Tilak Shyam 28 (esnips)
The other alaaps which have been recorded usually do not show the kharaj string.
However i think that with more access to his alaaps i can further understand this unique style of approach to ragas. I have written a very theoretical piece on his style titled (perhaps incorrectly) 'Dhrupad ang in Ravi Shankar' as well as an interview, a rather short one with Kumar Shahni, on RaviShankar. Kumar Shahani is a film maker who is a student of Robert Bresson.I can post the same if significant.
For now Ravi Shankar alaaps???? Anyone....

Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #2 
Quoting from the book The Life of Music in North India: Organization of Artistic Tradition page 225:
'Pt Ravi Shankar and Sri Nikhil Banerjee play Raga Shyam kalyan in successive performances'
Any possibility of getting a recording of the same.

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Reply with quote  #3 
Some not as long as you listed but here are some alaps with the kharaj/pancham strings that go into gats later.

Marwa - about 18 minute alap/jor/jhalla - The Ravi Shankar Collection: In New York

Ramkali - about 13 minute alap/jor/jhalla - The Ravi Shankar Collection: In London

Jog - about 13 minute alap/jor/jhalla - The Ravi Shankar Collection: Three Ragas

Shuddha Kalyan - 22 minute alap/jor/jhalla - Musical Ambassador Of India

Ragasri - 20 minute alap/jor/jhalla (gat follows) - The Ravi Shankar Collection: Improvisations

Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for your engaging reply. I'd also like to thank you for the wonderful recordings you have uploaded. But it is also significant that you have uploaded UVK and not Ravishankar recordings. Now if we look at the market, no real live performances by Ravi Shankar are available, especially not in India. If they are then they are the usual hurried gats without alaap. However his alaap is much more leisurely in India. For example in a morning raga recording (i dont know exactly which raga could make out it was morning raga) live in mumbai circa 1978 he plays about 10 minutes of alaap (hurried as we know it to be) and then about 35 minutes of jod. ABSOLUTELY EXCEPTIONAL. We have not heard him play anything like it. He handles treble much in the same way as Vk in this recording.After this he goes on to play a Khamaj thumri in the similar bandish style of the Bhairavi thumri you had uploaded.
The point is: There are about 7-8 ways in which RS handles the jod. We do not have access to these perhaps there are about 15-20 ways, we dont know. But in the available recordings it makes him sound like an absolute generic sitar player. We think he keeps repeating himself. This is not quite true. Perhaps there is a kind of censorship that operates there that makes records and live music sound so different. VK and NB are much more similar to their genuine playing styles in recordings.Not the case with RS
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