Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram|
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
John McLaughlin made his mark in jazz by blazing a speed-freak guitar trail through the electric thickets and torrential rhythms. Then there was Shakti, the East Indian-meets-fusion band McLaughlin founded after Mahavishnu... more »
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John McLaughlin made his mark in jazz by blazing a speed-freak guitar trail through the electric thickets and torrential rhythms. Then there was Shakti, the East Indian-meets-fusion band McLaughlin founded after Mahavishnu. Revisiting Shakti on this 1997 two-CD set recorded live on a British tour, John McLaughlin sounds at once flashy and deferential, ever keenly after the most excitable guitar lines balanced against rushes of rhythm--and willing not to shine brightest. This Shakti lineup includes original member Zakir Hussain on tabla and T.H. Vinayakram on ghatam, and the core group gets additional help from Hariprasad Chaurasia on bansuri flute and Uma Metha on tanpura on more than half these two-plus hours of riveting music. For fans of McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra feverishness, there is plenty of heat in the guitar, even though it's played filmily enough so that the hand percussion and deep flute winds blow through. --Andrew Bartlett
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Speaking each other's language
rajikapuri | 08/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a record that makes you wish you could have been at the concert when it was recorded. The highlight of this two-record set is the hour-long composition - "Mukti" - by the master flautist, Hariprasad Chaurasia. First of all, John Mclaughlin demonstrates a deep understanding of Indian classical music, while at the same time being true to his own instrument. So he sets the pace well for the things to come. Second, Chaurasia shows himself to have the rare ability to successfully compose a blend of Indian and western sounds.However, the show stopper is the rhythmic interlude with the two percussion geniuses - Zakir Hussain on the "tabla" and 'Vikku' Vinayakram on the "ghatam" (or clay pot). In spite of having heard them live on many occasions and been floored by their mastery of rhythm , it was still mind-boggling to hear what they did on that night. Each percussionist is comfortable with the other's very different rhythmic tradition (Zakir's Hussain's music is from north India, 'Vikku Vinayakram's from the south); they also LISTEN to each other and converse together with ease. Their brilliance is only matched by their humour (at one point the players themselves crack up), and one has trouble keeping one's jaws from hitting the ground. Truly a must for anyone who wants music that blows the mind."
A must have for any Shakti/ John Mclaughlin fanatic.
rajikapuri | 04/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great recording of a great performance. New Shakti member Hariprasad Chaurasia, on Bansuri, adds a new dimension to the music. The playing of the three original Shakti members is unparalelled. Unfortunately, JM isn't playing his famous acoustic Shakti guitar, with it's scalloped fingerboard and extra strings. On this recording he plays an electric hollowbody that fits the new band appropriately. I must honestly say, I have not heard JM play (and sound) better since some of his classic recordings from the seventies. One important factor about the music is that they did not try to achieve the classic Shakti "sound". Instead, I feel that they took the West meets East idea of fusion to a new height. Buy it!"
All is bliss.
spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 07/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Earthy percussive rhythms. Airy flute. Softly filtered guitar. Shakti's triumphant 1997 return to live performance was cause for celebration indeed; founder John McLaughlin and tabla master Zakir Hussain remained from the original lineup, with a few new friends jumping on board to continue the Indian/jazz fusion the group had perfected so well in the 70s. The overall mood here was softer and more reflective than usual - the presence of guest Hariprasad Chaurasia on bansuri flute made the affair much lighter and more meditative, and this album mostly left out the incredible instrumental pyrotechnics that made their original debut such a blazing firecracker of an album. No doubt many were disappointed to hear such a laid-back offering from the group.. it would almost be like Led Zeppelin reforming and turning out an album of slow ballads. But the superb musicianship and tight-knit group chemistry leave no doubt that whatever the lineup, whatever the mood, they will always be Shakti.
Anyone mainly looking for the usual greased-lightning virtuosity of McLaughlin and crew will be mostly disappointed with this selection. John's guitar isn't even present during the first half hour during "Chandrakauns," and he's perfectly content to sit silent through several stretches during the other tracks. Chaurasia's beautifully graceful flute is the main star most of the time. It floats over the tabla and ghatam beats. It lends a balance to the soft guitar through their closing duet "Zakir." For several passages it's the only sound to be heard, drifting through the air all by its lonely self. The flute is only absent through "The Wish," giving John his main space to stretch out with some of that trademark hyper guitar. Though the fast-paced beats of Hussain and T.H. Vinayakram make it the busiest track to be found, it never entirely loses the dreamy quality of the whole album. Even the recurring "Lotus Feet" is minor-keyed and somber this time around, not lightened much by the grave slowness of the percussion.
I myself don't listen to this Shakti album as much as the others, probably because it's the most quiet and low-key of the bunch, but it remains no less stellar because of that. Plenty more fire and energy would come later with The Believer and Saturday Night in Bombay. For the time being they were content to let us sit back, drift and dream.. and I say there's not a thing wrong with that. All is bliss, all is bliss."