Anoushka Shankar, daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar, takes serene and confident steps away from her father's long shadow on Rise. It's the fourth CD for the 24-year-old sitarist, but it marks a striking departure from the Indian classical music presented on Anourag, Anoushka and Live at Carnegie Hall. Shankar develops her own brand of lush world fusion that incorporates the spirit and rigor of the raga while also taking it in myriad directions. For instance, "Solea" combines Indian music and flamenco, and elsewhere tablas nestle beneath cellos, quivering voices lilt over a host of exotic instruments and a didgeridoo even makes an appearance.
The multicultural music on Rise speaks to a deeper sense of global bonds rather than the usual shotgun marriage of unrelated styles that the world-music aisles are rife with. The CD's nine meditative and often cinematic tracks offer a worldview where the various native rhythms are melding into one another, and the phenomenon is something to marvel at and ponder rather than celebrate on the dance floor (Though the sounds here are often aided by electronics, the music seems almost designed to thwart trendy remixing.)
On her previous recordings, Shankar's music was weighted with expectations from the rich tradition of her family. Now Shankar's music is dictated, and can be judged, by her own ambitious musical worldview.