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Shakti With John McLaughlin - A Handful Of Beauty CD (album) cover

A HANDFUL OF BEAUTY

Shakti With John McLaughlin

 

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.62 | 38 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

snobb
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Bigger interest to Shakti music always was based on their collaboration with fusion guitar genius John McLaughlin. But he is not only reason why band's music could attract you.

Combination of minimalistic acoustic sound of guitar (McLaughlin), violin (L. Shankar), tabla (Zakir Hussain) and Indian percussions (T. H. Vinayakram ) is incredible. The music roots are deep in hundreds years of Indian classic music, but the reading of it is very modern.

Second Shakti album is recorded as quartet music (percussionist R. Raghavan is gone), and there is the first band's studio work. Very first album song opens with double wordless vocals, supported by energetic strings and percussion. Still with deep Indian music roots, this song has strong influence from jazz rock fusion: violin sound often reminds Jean-Luc Ponty's playing in Mahavishnu Orchestra.

"Lady L " is lighter, more lyrical song, with complex percussion. "India" is fundamental drone, finishing side A. One of the best album's song, melting Western lyricism with Indian meditative tradition.

Side B has similar structure as side A: two short compositions, and the long one. The first,"Kriti", is traditional Indian song, and you can hear it. "Isis ", the longest album's compositions (15+ minutes) opens with violin soloing/interplay with percussion, guitar just adding some backsounds. Then guitar take its place, with some energetic solos, mixing all these sounds in slow wave of liquid music.

"Two Sisters" is only McLaughlin's solo composed songs, and if with feelable Indian music influence, it sounds more of Western manner.

All in all, strong album of early world fusion. I think, to love it you should be deeply interested in Indian culture, tradition and philosophy, but even for unprepared listener this album could be pleasant and interesting experience.

Around 3,5.

snobb | 3/5 |

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