Voices

The late Ravi Shankar became known in the West through his association with The Beatles. But there was far more to the man George Harrison called the "godfather" of world music. He was a champion of crossover in its fullest sense. His sitar spoke to all our souls.

A 'national treasure': Sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar dies aged 92

Ravi Shankar, the composer and sitar player who befriended the Beatles and acted as bridge between Indian music and the West, has died in southern California. He was 92 and had recently undergone heart surgery.

Bille Holliday, one of the giants of jazz, performed at the Lenox Lounge

Harlem nights fall silent with loss of lounge

Last call at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem will be just that on New Year's Eve, as its owner will unplug its iconic neon sign and put away the shot glasses on the low mahogany bar for the very last time, unable to pay the $20,000-a-month rent now being demanded by the landlord.

Lucinda Williams, Royal Festival Hall, London

London Jazz Festival

My Fantasy Band: Isaac Slade, The Fray

Bass: Adam Clayton

Shabazz Palaces - inside avant rap's soul

Miguel Cullen interviews Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces - the face of the avant-rap movement glamorised by Tyler the Creator - about rap selling its soul, winning a Grammy in another life and race-relations in America.

Album: Chucho Valdes, Chucho's Steps (World Village)

The master of madly chromatic Afro-Cuban piano, Chucho Valdes sounds right at the top of his prodigious form on this evocation of the jazz tradition, vamping away against drums and percussion with real fire.

Brit Jazz Festival to showcase some of Britain’s finest talent

This summer’s packed programme of music festivals continues with the Brit Jazz Festival, which kicks off tomorrow at London’s renowned jazz venue, Ronnie Scott’s.

Album: Nat Birchall, Guiding Spirit (Gondwana)

More great spiritual jazz from Manchester.

Album: Miles Davis, The Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection (Columbia Legacy)

The ultimate Miles: from 'Kind of Blue' to kind of new

Black magic: Gilles Peterson on the enduring appeal of 1960s Afro-centric jazz

They were Afro-centric, space-travelling musical pioneers of far-out 1960s America. He was a DJ with a bongo habit in 1980s London. Gilles Peterson tells Nick Coleman how he fell for the art, sound and heroes of radical jazz

Album: Steve Kuhn Trio / Joe Lovano, Mostly Coltrane, (ECM)

Veteran pianist Steve Kuhn – who worked with John Coltrane in 1960 – is such a smooth and harmonically sophisticated player that for the iconic opening tune, "Welcome", he and Lovano on tenor sax seem almost too subtle for such a simple, emotionally intense theme.

Album: Kurt Elling, Dedicated to You, (Concord)

Elling is such a knock- 'em-dead singer that you're ready to forgive him anything, even this over egged tribute to John Coltrane's sublime 1963 album.

Freddie Hubbard: Virtuoso jazz trumpeter who played with John Coltrane, Art Blakey and Herbie Hancock during a 50-year career

If Louis Armstrong burst upon the jazz world like a star in 1923, then the trumpeter Freddie Hubbard became one of its biggest comets when he did the same in 1959. The incandescent moment came with the issue of an album, Sister Salvation, made under the leadership of the trombonist and Hubbard's fellow Indianapolitan Slide Hampton. Suddenly, here was a fully formed virtuoso, crackling with a full, brazen technique and bursting with ideas.

Music: Open ears and minds break down the walls of sound

The folk who commission music titles have begun to catch up with the state of our ears. Music lovers who switch happily between Bach and Björk, Miles and Monteverdi, still find that most books – like the industry – stumble along under the burden of primitive genre divisions. At last, 2008 saw two majestic works that herald a new eclecticism. The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by New Yorker critic Alex Ross (Fourth Estate, £20) ranks as my non-fiction book of the year. Erudite but engaging, written with flair and passion, it traces the fate of composition from Mahler and Strauss through Ellington and Sibelius to the Velvet Underground. Ross has a dazzling grasp of the dialectics of taste, technology and society. Björk herself (the latest of his genre-bending heroes) lauds him on the cover – and rightly so.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee