Flamenco USA is the only record I’ve ever seen by guitarist Jan Davis, who is backed by the Flamenco Boogie Band. Nothing about the jacket suggests the record would be as good as it turns out to be – This was a really fun record to play in the shop when it was crowded. Fortunately, I recorded a side onto the computer before somebody bought it.
This track – “Stringed Action” – is the first on the album, and one of seven originals by Jan Davis. There’s also an arrangement of “Bolero” (which leads me to guess this album came out sometime around 1979-80, shortly after the steamy sex scene starring Bo Derek in 10, made “Bolero” a world-wide hit all over again). The other cover on the album is the theme from TV series “Police Woman”.
“Police Woman” was another cop show that my brother would insist we watch, but I never liked it as much as “CHiPS”.
Shanti was a short-lived collaboration between rock and Indian classical music – Although it is not a famous record, their debut album is the most successful hybrid to come out of the late 60s sitar/sarod fad that swept popular music in the late 60s and early 70s.
Ashish Khan, whose sarod solos drive the record, was a great arranger and innovator. He wrote the track you’re hearing, “Innocence”, as well as a second extended jam on the other side. His sarod is played through a Fender amp creating an entirely unique sound. He also worked with two of the Beatles (Guess which two!) and a variety of jazz artists including Alice Coltrane and Charles Lloyd.
(It’s a 10-minute mp3 so you will have to forgive the poor sound quality. It has to be compressed pretty tight to fit into our website restrictions, which I guess pushes all the notes really close together. Maybe you’ll come across a copy of the LP – I really recommend it. In fact, Ashish Khan’s song on the second side is even better but that was fourteen minutes, which is really getting just too compressed as far as listenability is concerned.)
This was another record I enjoyed playing in the shop because people really enjoyed it. It’s a lot more fun than Ravi Shankar’s collaborations, which tended to be more compositional and classically-minded. Ashish Khan could rock out, making the Shanti album a fun listen. It, too, was bought by a customer while I was playing it.
Both people were gracious enough to let me finish listening to the albums before leaving with them.