A smooth fusion

Traces of You is Anoushka Shankar’s seventh studio album and a tribute to her late father, sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Her half-sister, Norah Jones, also collaborates on the album.

The music varies from Hindustani dhuns and thumri to free jazz and Vedic chants.

The music has been arranged by multi-instrumentalist Nithin Sawhney, who plays the guitar, bass and piano in addition to orchestration and programming.

In the opening song, “Sun Won’t Set”, Norah Jones’s bluesy vocals are embellished by Anoushka’s sitar, a classical guitar and ghatam (The sun won’t set/ Not now, not yet.) Norah also gets to sing the title song, “Traces of You” (Traces of you/ linger like a tear drop/ fresh upon the air/ my heart sings for you/ play me like a rain cloud/ sounds upon the air).

“Fathers” is a collaboration between Nithin and Anoushka, a sort of jugalbandhi between sitar and piano. While “Indian Summer” is a hypnotic sitar and piano duet, “Metamorphosis” features a hypnotic chant.

“In Jyoti’s Name” and “Monsoon” are both based on Indian ragas. “Chasing Shadows” is the only song in which Anoushka collaborates with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt of the Mohan veena fame.

“Unsaid” is a poignant song by Norah, who also plays the piano alongside Anoushka’s sitar.

Ravishankar always maintained the purity of Indian musical tradition, despite having several friends in the western music world.

But Anoushka is bold enough to experiment and attempts to keep her father’s Indian musical tradition in fresh and modern ways.

She has managed a smooth crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres including flamenco, electronica, jazz and western classical music.

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