Παρασκευή, 2 Μαρτίου 2012

Big Jim Sullivan - Sitar Beat [1967]




Top British session guitarist Jim Sullivan was not a novice to the sitar when he recorded this instrumental album in 1968, having studied it seriously and established himself as the only non-Indian session musician who could play the instrument on U.K. recordings. The record still sounds like rather cheesy East-meets-West à go-go, though. Covers of then-current rock faves like "A Whiter Shade of Pale," "Sunshine Superman," and the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home" and (of course) "Within You, Without You" share space with three Sullivan originals, with John McLaughlin playing some session guitar. The rock covers are basically instrumental rearrangements that save for the sitar fit into the usual 1960s pop/rock background mood music format, though "She's Leaving Home" is changed to fit more Indian rhythms. Sullivan's original compositions (even the one titled "Flower Power") are more Indian in flavor, though nothing to set alongside your Ravi Shankar LPs, with "The Koan" buttressed by a nice jazzy breeze. 






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