Watch Julian Bream Play an Improvisation with Sarod Master Ali Akbar Khan

Feeling adventurous? The past three Sundays we’ve posted videos of Julian Bream and John Williams together, and Bream and Williams separately. Well, here’s something very different. A couple of years before George Harrison of The Beatles helped popularize the sitar and Indian music in the West (initially on the 1965 recording “Norwegian Wood”) Julian Bream was diving headlong into the classical music of India himself, as shown in this remarkable 1963 improvisation with sarod master Ali Akbar Khan (whom I was fortunate to interview in the late 1990s) and tabla player Ustad Alla Rakha (best known for his long association with Ravi Shankar; he’s also the father of contemporary percussion genius Zakir Hussain). The performance is intercut with interview footage of Bream talking about the experience many years later. —Blair Jackson