Sunday, May 11, 2008

Raga-Rock 101: Heart Full of Soul

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Ragas of course are Indian classical pieces played on a variety of instruments, most notably sitar and tabla.

Raga-rock was probably born with the Kinks 'See My Friends"or the Yardbirds "Heart Full of Soul" the first two singles to feature this musical style.

At times musicians actually taught themselves to use the sitar, but many played the guitar to sound like one, eg: Jeff beck

The master of western sitar was not George Harisson or Brian Jones, as many might think, but jazz-fusion master John Mclaughlin, both in Mahavishnu Orchestra and the much more Indian influenced Shakti (brilliant!)

If you actually like the original Indian music, Ravi Shankar is the most well known of course (at Woodstock hippies clapped to his tuning), his album East Meets West is pretty astounding played with Japanese Koto, Colin Walcott is a great intro for Western ears (Jazz on ECM), tabla = Zakir Hussein, Indian Vocals = Pandit Jasrah; a whole world to explore

Here's ten of the best of raga-rock

1. "The End," The Doors.
2. "Within You Without You" The Beatles
4. "Paint It, Black" Rolling Stones
3. "Eight Miles High" The Byrds
5. "Hole in My Shoe" Traffic
6. "Venus in Furs" The Velvet Underground
7. "Smell of Incense" West Coast Art Experimental Band
8. "Fat Man" Jethro Tull
9. "White Bird" It's a Beautiful Day
10. "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" Donovan

Image: Courtesy Verve

1 comment:

rockandrollguru said...

You nailed this one! This is your best list.