Down Beat - 3/913 Stars
- Good - "Shankar offers warmth and emotion to offset Glass' metronomic precision. Glass' participation puts Shankar's music in the hands and ears of new audiences. That's symbiosis for you."
Personnel includes: Ravi Shankar (vocals, sitar); Philip Glass; S.P. Balasubramanyam, Madras Choir, Jeannie Gagne (vocals); Shubho Shankar (sitar); Partha Sarady (sarod); Barry Finclair (violin, viola); Tim Baker, Mayuki Fukuhara (violin); Al Brown (viola); Seymour Barab (cello); Theresa Norris, Ronus Mazumdar (flute); Jon Gibson (soprano saxophone); Richard Peck, Lenny Pickett (alto & tenor saxophones); Peter Gordon (French horn); Keith O'Quinn (trombone); Joe Carver (bass); Abhiman Kaushal (tabla).
Producers: Kurt Munkacsi, Ravi Shankar, Suresh Lalwani.
Recorded at Kodandapani Audio Lab, Madras, India and at The Living Room Studios, New York, New York.
Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass met in Paris in 1965, when Glass was a young aspiring composer and Shankar was confirming his place in the world's classical canon. Shankar acted as an informal mentor to Glass, and their interaction inspired Glass to consider the possibilities of rhythm. By the time they joined forces at a New York City studio, in 1989, the two occupied a more level playing field.
PASSAGES differs from previous collaborations that Shankar had undertaken with Western musicians such as Yehudi Mehuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and George Harrison. On four of the six pieces, the two don't improvise together so much as refine each other's material, while on the remaining tracks, each composer is entirely responsible for the final composition. Shankar's lush orchestrations are most evident on "Prashanti" and the graceful "Ragas in Minor Scale," while Glass's repetitions manifest most hauntingly on "Channels and Winds." But on the finest tracks, "Offering" and "Meeting Along the Edge," their individual talents are subsumed into the collective experience.