John McLaughlin

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10/3/2003
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & ZAKIR HUSSAIN "REMEMBER SHAKTI"
John McLaughlin - 'JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & ZAKIR HUSSAIN "REMEMBER SHAKTI"' image
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN & ZAKIR HUSSAIN "REMEMBER SHAKTI"
October 3 Town Hall, 8:00 pm (Tickets: $50-$40-$30; available now at Ticketmaster--212-307-4100; online at Ticketmaster.com and available September 8 at Town Hall box office--212-840-2824)

Following the break-up of the legendary Mahavishnu Orchestra, virtuoso guitarist John McLaughlin turned his attention from jazz fusion to the sounds of India, forming one of the first and most progressive world music groups to date --Shakti. Shakti's heartfelt and intelligent synthesis of Eastern and Western music remains an influence on musicians and music fans around the globe. McLaughlin and master percussionist Zakir Hussain have reunited in recent years for a series of several sold-out world tours and recordings. Shakti returns for a US tour featuring McLaughlin and Hussain along with the Indian electric mandolin prodigy U. Shrinivas,and V. Selvaganesh on percussion. (Produced by New Audiences). Remember Shakti (by John McLaughlin) At the end of 1997 I get a call from Zakir. He invites me to play with him for a short UK tour. We try to reform the original Shakti, but are unable to. We invite Flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia and record the first 'Remember Shakti' live at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The short UK tour with Zakir, 'Vikku' and Hariji is all too short for me. I realise at that moment just how much I have missed Zakir and his playing. He is, without doubt, the greatest Tabla Player in the world today. I have also missed the particular 'atmosphere' of sentiments that exists between musicians from India and Pakistan. This relates in part to their respective cultures, but it is also an indication of the depth and breadth of their music: the entire range of feelings and experiences that the human being may have; from the most frivolous and comic to the absolute depths of the human spirit.  In concerts employing fundamentals of Indian music, a Tanpoura is normally used to create the 'Drone' of the principal tonality. For the first time in London, I have an urge to use my 'meditation/chanting' drone that I have been using for some years, to replace the Tanpoura with the tonality. I really like it. On the first rehearsal Hariji hears my 'drone', and really wishes to use it for himself. I am very pleased and make him a special audio CD with an hour of 'drone' tuned exactly to his flute... It has been quite a few years since we played together, and I am so happy to have the opportunity to play with him again. He has to be one of the most soulful musicians I have ever heard.  Zakir and I really want to continue to work and play together. We ask Hariji, but unfortunately, he has already many concerts booked for the following 2 years, and we try again to find Violinist L.Shankar. We are unable to contact him and since 'Vikku' is also extremely busy with his Madras music school, we invite his son Selva Ganesh to replace him on Kanjira. Selva is an amazing percussionist... Several years earlier, I had the great fortune to see Electric Mandolin player U. Shrinivas in concert when he was only 12 years old. I had never heard such deep feelings expressed in music coming from a person so young, he was simply phenomenal, and more than qualified to replace the violin of Shankar. 1998-2001: We become 'Remember Shakti', and we hit the road with tours all over the world. What a band!!! 
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