Remember Shakti: Mukti




John McLaughlin (guitar)


Remember Shakti (Verve 314 559 345-2)

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John McLaughlin (guitar),

Hariprasad Chaurasia (bansuri Indian flute), Zakir Hussain (tabla), T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram (ghatam)


Composed by Hariprasad Chaurasia


Recorded: London, England, September 1997


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Remember Shakti came together as an officially sponsored unit to tour Europe in celebration of the 50th anniversary of India's and Pakistan's independence. The group's first incarnation featured the great Indian bansuri (wooden flute) maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia as guitarist John McLaughlin's partner in melody. Chaurasia wrote "Mukti." Let me tell you how to prepare for a listen. You need to be a patient person. Make yourself some tea. Insert the CD into the player. Find a yourself a comfortable reclining position and do not leave the room for 63 minutes and 30 seconds. A minute missed is an hour missed. Chaurasia plays hauntingly beautiful music. Let your mind wander among his Carnatic intonations. Guitarist McLaughlin follows with meditative slurred blues lines. The gears move quickly sometimes. But this is a slow journey through the recesses of the great spiritual aspirations. Agnostics will believe. The interplay between McLaughlin and the flutist is a heavenly improvisational give and take. Tabla player supreme Zakir Hussain and ghatam player Vikku Vinayakram clear the path for the entire hour. Their highlights come almost an hour into the song as they engage in an exciting duel. A performance this lengthy isn't for everybody. That's too bad. If we were all able to set aside an hour a day to listen to beautiful music, study brilliant art or read fine literature, the world would be a better place. I mean that.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

Related Links

In Conversation with John McLaughlin by Walter Kolosky
The South Asian Tinge in Jazz by Ted Gioia


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