JOHN MCLAUGHLIN — John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain : Is That So?

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN - John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain : Is That So? cover
2.55 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2020

Tracklist

1 Kabir 7:27
2 Sakhi 8:26
3 The Search 8:32
4 Tara 10:49
5 The Guru 7:09
6 The Beloved 9:25

Line-up/Musicians

Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer [Guitar synth], Orchestrated By [Orchestrations] – John McLaughlin
Tabla – Zakir Hussain
Voice – Shankar Mahadevan

About this release

Abstract Logix / Mediastarz ‎– ABLX061 (US)

Recorded At Mediastarz Studio Monaco / Purple Haze Studio / Airship Laboratories

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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JOHN MCLAUGHLIN SHANKAR MAHADEVAN, ZAKIR HUSSAIN : IS THAT SO? JOHN MCLAUGHLIN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
Living legend English guitarist John McLaughlin is a man responsible for probably best ever recorded guitar fusion album. His early interest to Indian music (and culture in general)is well documented on "My Goal's Beyond"(1971) and more significantly on early Shakti albums which were again excellent examples of Indo-fusion.

Don't be fooled by the name though - the newest work, credited to McLaughlin as leader, "Is That So?", is not in the league of both above mentioned masterpieces.To be honest, "Is That So?" in reality is first of all vocal album of prolific Indian singer and films soundtrack composer Shankar Mahadevan. Being a cult figure in India, he's almost unknown in Western world, so crediting his album to McLaughlin as leader is understandable marketing trick for American label AbstractLogix,who released the album just a week ago.

Then,under the cover we have what we have. Shankar Mahadevan sings six lyrical songs,ballads of sort, under minimalist accompaniment of McLaughlin processed guitars and even more minimalist licks of another Indian,former Shakti tabla player Zakir Hussain.

Fortunately, all music doesn't sound as Bollywood soundtrack. It is more rooted to Indian traditional sound, but it is still first of all singer's album. McLaughlin guitars sound processed using computer,is liquid,rhythm-less and hardly differs from what could be produced using inexpensive synths. Tabla's soloing is most livable and most attractive element of all music, but we don't get a lot of it. Harmony-less Indian music without rhythmic component after some time sounds same again and again, at least for Westerner's ear.

Quite a weird release,it will hardly attract McLaughlin guitar work's fans or even Shakti early albums lovers. Maybe Shankar Mahadevan singing followers will find it interesting though.

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