Album of the Day
A nephew of the great Ravi Shankar, Ananda Shankar was himself a gifted sitar player - and perhaps even more dedicated than his uncle to bridging the gap between Eastern and Western musics. Released in 1970 on Reprise, his self-titled debut featured Indian classical tracks side-by-side with sitar-driven instrumental versions of rock hits (“Light My Fire” and a gloriously over-the-top “Jumpin' Jack Flash”). With psychedelic production touches and early Moog synthesizer work (from collaborator Paul Lewinson), it may qualify as an exploitation album, but like the best releases in that vein, its guilty pleasures are many, and hip club DJs have gotten a lot of mileage out of these funky grooves. Rightfully included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, ANANDA SHANKAR is masterfully played and thoroughly enjoyable.