In Sanskrit, Shakti literally means ‘energy’ or, rather, the feminine version of divine energy. In music Shakti is also energy, the story of two men and the meeting of two traditions –
Indian born Pandit Ravi Shankar and British guitarist John McLaughlin.
This album was recorded live in the year 2000 in Bombay. It was the sequel to their meeting at the close of the 60’s and now at the end of the 90’s when they decided to return to stage celebrations the 50th anniversary of India’s Independence that gave birth to a album call ‘Remember Shakti’ It’s no coincidence that this record was christened ‘Saturday Night in Bombay’ for there was a certain ‘Saturday Night in San Francisco’ in 1978 and in the year 2000.
A host of Indian musicians join in the celebration on this album. The names include, Shankar Mahadevan Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Sivamani, Taufiq Quereshi, U. Srinivas and many others. It was like a meeting of Indian artists from the North and South, with the rendezvous being John McLaughlin at the heart of Maharashtra. All these artists and others carry the Shakti torch, and their instrumental skills, both as leaders at times and as accompanists raising this meeting to a higher level. The instruments like the tavil; tables, kanjira, ghattam, cholak, def, drafli, percussion and pakhewaj add sparkle to the show and the music.
A listen to the album will reveal the magic that John McLaughlin has brought about. Jazz lovers who missed this show can check this album out.
Reviewed by Verus Ferreira