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.

The interview: COURTNEY PINE, MUSICIAN, TALKS TO DOMINIC CAVENDISH

Purists may scoff, but with his teched-up, crossover sound, he aims to take jazz away from old men in pubs and bring it to the masses

also showing; It's a wonderful life, on the face of it

MR HOLLAND'S OPUS Stephen Herek (PG) WHITE SQUALL Ridley Scott (12) EXECUTIVE DECISION Stuart Baird (15)

JAZZ Joe Sample, Jazz Cafe, London

Nick Coleman drank in the eclectic sound of the Texan pianist's subtle funk

six of the best buys this weekend

SIX GOOD VIDEOS

Music George Russell and the Living Time Orchestra The Forum, Bath

'The musicians responded with the necessary fireworks and the concert ended with a bang'

OBITUARY : Don Cherry

Steve Voce's rather curmudgeonly evaluation of Don Cherry [obituary, 21 October] will have disappointed many readers who were fortunate enough to see Cherry in concert and to experience his unique gifts for themselves, writes Phil Johnson.

Impulse buys for the fetishist

Heaven in a box-set awaits jazz buffs with the latest batch of re-mastered classics. Phil Johnson works himself into a lather

RECORDS: Skunk Anansie: Paranoid and Sunburnt

Skunk Anansie: Paranoid and Sunburnt (One Little Indian, CD/LP/tape, out tomorrow). Still only 19 months old, London four-piece Skunk Anansie can already lay claim to a Bjork collaboration, an upcoming Hollywood film cameo, and a file of press cuttings bulkier than the Sunday Times. As this attention is largely due to a dangerously energetic live show, and the novelty value of a skinhead black lesbian singer, the obvious question must be: does the band stand up on a purely aural level? The obvious answer is yes. The political lyrics whack you as hard as a pneumatic drill, and the music whacks you as hard as the politics. I know from personal experience that to compare their "skunk rock" to heavy metal is to ask for violent reprisal - and the traces of fat funk bass, ska drumming and gospel backing vocals certainly distort the genre's definition - but it's no coincidence that they have been voted Band of the Year by metal mag Kerrang!. But those who dare to stick with it will come across melodies as nagging and distinct as those of any Britpopper, and an extraordinary voice that shivers, sulks and screams within the space of one angry sentence. And if it sounds as if the guitarist was being wrestled to the floor by the singer during the recording process, that's because he was. Nicholas Barber

Singing Dvorak: Anne Sofie von Otter

NEW RELEASES

'In Miles Davis's hands, modernism wasn't an aesthetic concept at all. It was his way of life'

ALBUM REVIEWS Miles Davis The Complete Live at the Plugged Nickel Columbia Legacy CXK 66955

Branford Marsalis & Buckshot LeFonque Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Pity poor Branford, dissed by his brother Wynton for playing with Sting in the Eighties, only to be dissed again by baby brother Delfeayo for flirting with the funk in the Nineties. If he was being taken to task for plain poor taste rather than an imagined departure from the jazz purist's path of righteousness, Branford proved he was more than fair game, wearing his baseball cap back to front with pride, a badge of manhood waved like a red rag to the bull of his leery lad's club of a band.

MUSIC; Are you listening Lady Thatcher?

The Rare Music Club Exeter, then tours

OBITUARY: Art Taylor

Arthur S. Taylor Jnr, drummer: born New York City 6 April 1929: died New York City 6 February 1995.

The sound of bickering . . . some traditional, some modern

THE JAZZ world is in one way very like the Tory party, or Scotland, or the world of chess, or almost any minority you care to mention. It looks homogeneous from a distance, but the closer you get to it the more signs of internal feuding you find. Like all movements that suffer from a vision of perfection, there is great disagreement in the jazz world over what constitutes perfection, and the writers of different gospels within the movement tend not to talk to each other.

Classical Music: Elements of the kitchen-sink drama: When composer Dave Heath joined the Scottish Ensemble he soon made a splash, as Nick Kimberley discovered

Who can fathom the mysteries of the creative process? How do composers construct the sound-world they strive for? Some may conjure luminous visions of eternity at the computer interface, others may labour at their desk as they trawl through musical history for the key to the future; but the process remains elusive. It is doubtful that many go through the procedure by which Dave Heath arrived at a solution for a crucial moment in his new work The Four Elements.
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