Rainbow is more than a sequel to John Handy’s and Ali Akbar Khan’s first MPS album (see Karuna Supreme for info on Handy & Khan): this 1980 recording unites India’s two musical cultures, Khan’s North Indian classical music, and acclaimed violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam’s South Indian Carnatic music, as well as Handy’s Afro-American jazz. Renowned for his virtuoso playing, Dr. L. Subramaniam performed his Fantasy on Vedic Chants with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. Legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin enthused, “Each time I listen to him, I am carried away in wonderment.” Subramanian’s jazz credentials are also impeccable, having played with the likes of Larry Coryell, Herbie Hancock, and the Crusaders. The music is an exquisite intermingling of East and West. Based on two ragas, Khan’s Rajashik – The Majesty Of Wisdom plays out in sedate fashion. Hip, with a dash of humor, Handy’s Indian Boogie Shoes testifies to the parallels between ragas and the blues. There’s the alluring Rainbow Serenade, and the improvised Garland Of Flowers, which features each musician as it slowly grows in intensity, ending in a fervid group improv. L. Subramaniam’s Kali Dance is named after the Indian goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil. Intense and passionate, the piece is a consummate mix of jazz and Indian traditions. The same goes for the album – it’s a classic.