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Shakti, The Best of Shakti - 1. Joy - (18:13)...”

Written on: 25/06/2007 by jfderry (208 reviews written)

Shakti, The Best of Shakti -

1. Joy - (18:13) (J.McLaughlin/L.Shankar)

2. Bridge Of Sighs - (3:51) (J.McLaughlin/L.Shankar)

3. Mind Ecology - (3:20) (J.McLaughlin)

4. India - (12:31) (J.McLaughlin/L.Shankar)

5. Face To Face - (5:56) (J.McLaughlin/L.Shankar)

6. Happiness Is Being Together - (4:26) (J.McLaughlin)

7. Isis - (15:11) (J.McLaughlin/L.Shankar)

8. La Danse Du Bonheur - (4:48) (J.McLaughlin/L.Shankar)

9. Two Sisters - (4:41) (J.McLaughlin)

John McLaughlin - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals

L. Shankar - Violin, Viola, Vocals

Zakir Hussain - Tabla, Timbales, Bongos, Congas, Dholak, Naal, Triangle, Vocals

T. H. Vinayakram - Ghatam, Mridangam, Kanjeera, Moorsing (Mouth Harp), Vocals

Ramnad V. Raghavan - Mridangam (on "Joy")

How can you possibly choose "the best" of Shakti? It's all great, right? There's going to be a lot of questions, so I hope you're listening.

Now I've got your attention, here's a little help. The answer to the first quandary is probably by making sure the selection committee includes one of the best authorities on the music. The project management for this compilation is shared by Hussain and it's released on his own Moment Records label (follow the link below).

Next, keeping it in the family, make sure that the listening public get drawn into the tracks that you have chosen. With this complex music that's not going to be easy, and you might need to provide some supporting material rather than relying solely on the music, however wonderful it is. Hussain's wife, Italian American Antonia Minnecola's liner notes are informative and although brief have more content than you might normally expect for a compilation overview.

Next, get all your chums to expound on their experiences making this music. Each musician bares their soul as far as possible in a few dozen lines of text, but to read such personal sentiments is always a privilege to the outsider. It's noticeable that L.Shankar's comments are lifted from the 1977 "Jazz Forum" interview, and therein lies a tale. Many years have passed since McLaughlin and L.Shankar spoke, let alone shared the stage. The others claiming that L.Shankar wasn't contactable when they were negotiating performing together again. What if he had been contactable and they had smoothed over their problems? Then he would have been in Remember Shakti, probably instead of Hariprasad and U.Srinivas and all the "guest" artists, and wow! Then what?

But that is now and this is then, from 1975 to 1977 in fact; the 9 songs are not presented in chronological order, other than the opening long track being from "Shakti with John McLaughlin" and the other selections made equally from "A Handful Of Beauty" and "Natural Elements". A compilation like this is almost redundant. If you like the music then you probably already have the three separate albums, who can blame you? If you haven't heard the music before then buy this compilation and then go and buy the three separate albums. That way you get to hear "the best" from the best and "the rest" from the best. Ok?

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