Words by Simon Broughton
There’s an intimate warmth and bloom about this classical sitar album, which is largely thanks to Anoushka Shankar’s sublime playing, but is also due to the beautiful sound quality of the recording, made in her studio at home in London. Like her 2013 fusion album, Traces of You, which featured her half-sister Norah Jones and Nitin Sawhney, it pays tribute to her late father, Ravi Shankar.
It’s unlikely that Anoushka Shankar’s home is as calm and restful as this music sounds, with a new baby and a toddler racketing around. Shankar plays ‘Raga Jogeshwari’, a combination of two night-time ragas created by her father. In the slow opening alap there’s a tangible feeling of the warm evening air, scents and heightened emotions. It’s something to bask and revel in. She’s joined on tabla by Tanmoy Bose, her father’s favourite tabla player in his last years. He plays a gentle and un-showy seven-beat rupaktaal. Even when it gets elegantly nimble towards the end, it feels like a performance among friends, rather than a display. The album ends with a lighter, romantic piece, ‘Raga Manj Khamaj’, which she titles ‘Celebration’. ‘Khamaj’ is thought of as a sensual raga and she brings out its arabesque-like qualities with delicate tracery in a shimmering conclusion.