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A Meeting by the River

51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 23, 1993
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A blend of bottleneck guitar and East Indian instruments. The classic recording by Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

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Ry Cooder has long had an interest in other people's music, from the blues and gospel of black America through classic jazz and the music of Cuba. Even by this standard, his meeting with Mohan Vishwa Bhatt is certainly a departure. He is neither a serious student of Indian music nor in any way a master of its intricacies. Yet on his improvised session (this album was recorded without rehearsal in one evening), he and Bhatt truly collided musically and created moments worthy of the world-music Grammy they received for it. Bhatt is an iconoclastic character himself. He plays a modified box he calls the mohan vina that is a hybrid of a classical Indian instrument and slide guitar. He is long trained in the arduous classical style, yet his work has always demanded a lot of freedom. His duets here with Cooder are completely unique, liberating both artists from the usual constraints and creating a new musical style that is unlikely to be repeated or imitated. --Louis Gibson

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 23, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Water Lily Acoustics
  • ASIN: B000005L9Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,680 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By satchidananda on November 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The album truly encompasses the spirit of the confluence, of different worlds, different music, different thoughts, united in harmony, in the cool shade of the banks of the ganges.

Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is as effortlessly beautiful as ever. The flowing quality of his music, with delightful legatos splashes as his solos meet the solid boulders and branches of Ry Cooder's slide guitar. If anything I feel Ry Cooder was too quiet on this album, though, the blues/jazz influence was underplayed a little.

The title piece is one of my favourites, though Isa Lie is equally wonderful.

Magical music from another place and time.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Isa Lei" is my favourite piece on this cd. It is a FIJIAN farewell song, not Hawaiian like most people tend to think. Being a Fijian myself, I couldn't help but cry when I first heard Ry Cooder and Bhatt's rendition.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Ry Cooder has made a lot of music that's nice to listen to as 'background music.' All of his film soundtracks are enjoyable, but they never strike one beyond that.
In Meeting by the River, Cooder and Bhatt create music that is at once unique and interesting. Bhatt, as always, is outstanding on his own mohan vina, and Cooder gives one of his best performances.
Interestingly, this CD was recorded in one take, in an LA church with outstanding acoustics. This is an impromptu session, but the musical ideas seem very refined.
One of my all-time favorites, and a must-have for any Cooder fan.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album contains a particular mix of Western and Asian instrumental styles that I had not heard elsewhere. The playing is lyrical, sensitive, and subtle. While there is a strong, moving rhythmic line underneath the melodies, that is very engaging, the album has a meditative feeling. It restores a sense of peace and optimism after I have had a hard day. Since purchasing this album, I purchased another by Ry Cooder, and listened to other albums by V.M. Bhatt. This effort by V.M. Bhatt is more successful than some of his other ones. I am also keeping an eye out for other offerings on this label. This album exemplifies some of the best qualities of World Music. The artists blend different musical cultures very deftly. There is a keen sense that they are conversing with one another. They reassure me that personal and cultural boundaries can be transcended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By voodoo child on December 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
if you;re anyway involved with slide guitar playing, then get this one. cos it's one of the most outstanding slide-blues-fusion albums ever made. even if you have never heard indian music, it'll still grown on you, pretty soon. VM Bhatt is a master at his music & his instrument. And Ry Cooder is no less. i love both these guys' playing. But be warned that this is a VM Bhatt album featuring Ry cooder and not the otherway round. So apart from the fact that Ry's playing is always minimalistic, there's pretty little of Ry's sound on this album. But it still manages to keep me riveted for some reason. but his blues licks are so well timed and phrased, there's no words to describe what he does. and the chords he uses to accompany VM Bhatts passages, are so colorful. and for the real hardcore blues fans theres atleast one tune ' ganges delta blues' . man it's just awesome, with all the precussion and stuff. it amazing. i got more than i expected.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1999
Format: Audio CD
They come from worlds miles apart. Yet, within a few hour after their first meeting they are able to come up with such deeply emotional 'impromptu' concert (no rehearsals)?!? Beats the hell out of me!! Full credit must go to Kavi Alexander (of Waterlily Acoustics) for having made the event possible and for having documented the event with such natural accuracy. "Buy it Now" is the only way to go.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Terry on August 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'll leave technical remarks to one more musical if I may. Suffice to say that listening to this album evokes such feelings of harmony, peace and acceptance in me. This is due partly to the beautiful, soulful quality of the music, and partly to an understanding that this is two musicians meeting in a world which seeks to be rid of such arbitrary boundaries as culture, nationality or 'style'. The music that these two create represents, for me, a very powerful unifying force in all things. And if that sounds too esoteric, just give it a listen!
If you love tender, meaningful music, I can't recommend this highly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ed Menke on November 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
God help me, I just keep listening to this. Gentle... Lyrical... Rhythmic... Gives you that feeling you get when exposed to any paradigm of the form: "Yeah, so _this_ is what good music is! I forgot!"

Chillingly good.
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A Meeting by the River
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