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Publishers Weekly, 1999-12-13 Shankar, a sitar player known as the godfather of world music for his role in opening Western ears to sounds from the East, gives an honest, in-depth look at his life and work in this prodigious autobiography. Like a fine musical composition, Shankar beautifully narrates his life's milestones--his early years in India, his travels as a performer in Paris during the 1930s, his breakthrough in the West and rise to stardom during the '60s, his turbulent personal life in the '70s and '80s--while periodically returning to his basic theme: his love of music and the sitar. Throughout, Shankar builds on his 1968 book, My Music, My Life, which provided a general introduction to Indian music. He describes his performances in U.S. music festivals (Woodstock, he says, was " a terrifying experience" where "the music was incidental"); he also weaves in tales of people he affected (Gene Kelly, Richard Burton, Peter Sellers, Marlon Brando and, of course, editor Harrison), and those who influenced him--most importantly Ustad Allauddin Khan, the classical musician and pioneer of modern Hindustani instrumental music. Along with the enormous number of photographs that accompany this dense and lengthy work, Shankar presents letters and musical transcriptions to produce a history of Indian music during the 20th century. Although Shankar has been somewhat taken for granted in recent years due to his long-standing popularity, this book convincingly reasserts his historical importance. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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