There was some commotion in news conference this morning, when a very senior executive issued a heresy. Ravi Shankar, he said, might have been a magnificent technician, but he wasn't all that positive an influence on music. A huge amount of musical drudgery issued, indeed, from his influence. Well, suffice to say that is not the prevailing orthodoxy; rather, most people think he was possibly the finest living exponent of a musical form that was sublime and spiritual.
Those people presumably include the chaps at Trunk Records who, for one day only, are offering a free download of Shankar's debut album from the 1950s.
It is still said of George Orwell that anyone who wants to understand the 20th century will have to read his essays. It may one day be said that anyone who wants to understand 20th century music will have to listen to Shankar. That debut album is a good place to start.