Bridges: The Best of Ravi Shankar

Not content with renown as either the world's foremost sitarist, India's most famous musician, or musical guru to the Beatles' lead guitarist, Ravi Shankar has forged a resolutely singular path in his

Not content with renown as either the world's foremost sitarist, India's most famous musician, or musical guru to the Beatles' lead guitarist, Ravi Shankar has forged a resolutely singular path in his search for artistic fulfillment since ascending to celebrityhood during the psychedelic '60s. Bridges compiles the best of his three albums recorded for Private Music during that label's early '80s creative zenith. Indian and Russian musicians pair successfully on selections from Inside the Kremlin. Shankar's most famous pupil, George Harrison, appears on the star-studded Tana Mana sessions, playing alongside Western talents like Al Kooper and a phalanx of Indian virtuosos. Three tracks from Passages—an ethereal collaboration with composer Philip Glass' group—blend Hindustani and Carnatic traditions of Indian classical performance with the minimalism of downtown Manhattan. Testament to the ongoing influence of the first true "world musician," Bridges encapsulates a crucial era in the career of Ravi Shankar, whose fingers still blaze as he enters his eighth decade.—RBH