Friday, July 1, 2011

#35 Ananda Shankar "Jumpin' Jack Flash" 1970

The idea of a sitar soaked cover of the Rolling Stones "Jumpin' Jack Flash" probably sounds like it would be, at best, a curiosity. Something the more cynical of us could have predicted after George Harrison's "Norwegian Wood" noodlings became the talk of Rubber Soul.
But then you listen to this and HOLY CRAP! the critics say.

Ananda Shankar--nephew of the more famous Ravi Shankar--visited San Francisco in 1968 and jammed with Jimi Hendrix. That eye--and ear--opening experience led to experimentations with more instruments: the moog synthesizer, guitar, bass and drums. For his self titled 1970 album--now a cult classic-- Ananda covered "Jumpin Jack Flash" as well as The Doors' "Light My Fire". The entire album is a great groovy mood enhancing gem.

Shankar returned to India in the mid-70's and recorded more classics as well as soundtracks. According to Alan James's liner notes for a much later album, Ananda used to say: "My dream is to break barriers, any kind of barrier - through music, love, affection and compassion. I have this dream of musicians from all over the world playing for an audience all over the world. When we are all here we are one, and when we go out I am sure we will all be one."

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