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Remember Shakti: Saturday Night in Bombay

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Audio CD, June 19, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 19, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Umvd Labels
  • ASIN: B00005JJ95
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,935 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Luki
2. Shringar
3. Giriraj Sudha
4. Bell'Alla

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

SHAKTI Remember... - Saturday Night In Bombay CD

Guitarist McLaughlin and tabla drummer Zakir Hussain first joined together as Shakti in 1975 to fuse together the rhythmic and improvisational energies of jazz and the classical music of northern India. Regrouping in the late '90s, the two have since raised the level of the synthesis significantly in a quartet with the extraordinary young mandolin player U. Shrinivas and percussionist V. Selvaganesh. These recordings come from December 2000, when Remember Shakti was playing concerts in Bombay at the end of a world tour. It's clearly the occasion for celebration, with the group expanding to include several guests, but it's distinguished by the same quality that has graced their live performances and the previous CD, The Believer: a hypnotic luminosity that enfolds flights of extraordinary virtuosity and sustained dialogue into a tranquil whole. That mood is further enhanced here by the setting, the layered polyrhythms of multiple drummers, and the singing of Shankar Mahadevan. The wedding of East and West is most apparent in McLaughlin's sprightly "Luki," with the guitarist's harmonies specifically invoking jazz. "Shringar," nearly 27 minutes long, is played by a quartet, with its composer Shiv Kumar Sharma on santur, a Persian zither. Beginning in a sustained meditative stillness, it eventually builds to one of McLaughlin's most brilliant solos. As they have in the past, McLaughlin and Hussain again give new meaning and possibilities to the idea of "world music." --Stuart Broomer

Customer Reviews

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L. Rosenbaum on June 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This CD recorded live in India in Dec. of 2000 features the same musicians as "Believer" with many guest artists along for the ride. The CD features John McLaughlin on guitar, U. Shrinivas on mandolin, Zakir Hussain on tablas, and V. Selvaganesh on kanjira, gatham and mridangam. Joining these musicians at what McLaughlin calls a "Shakti Summit" is vocalist Shankar Mahadevan; Hindustani slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya; santur player Shiv Kumar Sharma; drummer-percussionist (traps) Sivamani; dholak players Bhavani Shankar (also playing pakhawaj), Roshan Ali, and Aziz; Taufiq Quareshi playing def, dafli and perc.; and A. K. Pallanivel on tavil. There are only four tracks on this CD in which only the first track called "Luki" written by McLaughlin features all of the musicians except Sharma. The piece begins with a short repetitive phrase for all the melody instruments than the theme begins in unison. A short exchange of solos of 8 beats each between the Bhattacharya and McLaughlin. Then the same happens between Mahadevan and Shrinivas. The piece ends with a statement of the theme again. The second piece by Sharma called "Shringar" features only McLaughlin, Sharma, Hussain and Selvaganesh. This is the longest (26.5 min) and is the slowest to develop. It is a traditional duet performance between the santur and guitar that begins with the slow introduction to the raga with Sharma and McLaughlin taking turns. The raga eventually builds and as the tabla and kanjira make their entrance. The improvisation ends as the tempo increases ending in a frenzy of notes. "Giriraj Sudha" the third piece on this disc composed by U. Shrinivas. Beginning with a statement of the raga between Mandolin and voice.Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on November 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
That's what the word Shakti apparently means, and you can't help but hear it in everything they play. This is an enchanting blend of Indian style & sensibility with the dynamic improvisation of American jazz - THIS is what 'fusion' really means. The original group emerged with a phenomenal debut in 1976 (also an excellent choice by the way), split up after two more albums, and stayed dormant for 20 years until the energence of Remember Shakti in the late 1990s. We can only wonder what they might have done with all that time if they'd stayed together, but no matter: founder John McLaughlin and his trademark hyper guitar are present as always. He's also joined again by original rhythm master Zakir Hussain, who makes a simple tabla pulse, cry and sing with his masterful rhythmic touch. The basic sound is expanded with the addition of U. Shrinivas (a virtuoso on the mandolin) and V. Selvaganesh, who plays kanjira (a smaller percussion instrument). Saturday Night in Bombay marked the end of a very successful tour for the reformed group, recorded over a couple nights where several distinguished guests were able to drop in. Their names probably won't ring a bell for anyone not familiar with Indian music already (they didn't for me), but the music is what's important. The sound everyone makes together is exotic yet familiar, worldly yet intimate, and the group interaction is nothing short of phenomenal.

McLaughlin's electric (I think) guitar slides and sings through the notes like quicksilver, having left behind that acoustic twang found in Shakti's earlier work. Even the couple times he plays with some echo and slight effects (there's one point in "Giriraj Sudha" where I could swear he's quoting Rush's "Xanadu"), it never sounds contrived.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JFDerry on August 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
From the very opening few licks of this new album, straight away you get the feeling that this is a more buoyant lyrical music than the intense, introspective investigations that we were treated to with Remember Shakti and The Believer. It's funky, bursting with melody, and it's going to make you dance, for joy. Remember how Natural Elements felt after A Handful of Beauty? Well, here we go again.
Each incarnation of Remember Shakti produces a sound very much reflective of it's musicians. The original 1997 tour conjured aural visages of desert's dawn, all was peace, all was calm. Hariprasad Chaurasia's winged bansuri flew us beyond the clouds to dream palaces in the mind. Then The Believer burnt our wings with the concert pyrotechnics that had us, the global audience, stunned throughout the subsequent touring, made us clamour for encore after encore, and never sent us home disappointed. Now Saturday Night In Bombay celebrates Shakti's return with a very special recording indeed - this IS history, shared over 2 nights, in a very fitting place, by a very lucky audience.
This time a festival of music in Mumbai presented a new source of musical influence for tapping. Keep the time nurtured relationship, the Shakti core that has opened our ears each time they lay hands on guitar, tabla, mandolin, kanjira, ghatam, mridangam, but add to this recipe a little more spice, a broader palate, a little more fire. Bring in the permeating vocals of Shankar Mahadevan to give a sense of folk. Bring in the slide guitar of Debashish Bhattacharya for some frenetic tradeoffs. Bring in the santur of Shiv Kumar Sharma to woo our jiggle-weary limbs and unveil yet hidden depths in this heady mixture.
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