Acoustic Sounds


This Moment



Shakti "This Moment"

Label: Abstract Logix

Produced By: John McLaughlin

Engineered By: various

Mixed By: George Murphy

Mastered By: Andrew Tulloch

By: Michael Fremer

January 3rd, 2024





First New Shakti Album in 46 Years Is Truly A "World Music" Affair

recorded in studios around the world

The first Shakti album in 46 years is miraculous for a few reasons, the first being a "mind-body" cure for John McLaughlin's arthritic hand that had forced his 2017 retirement. The second is that though McLaughlin considers Shakti primarily a live band, this release was "phoned in" from various continents where the group members were living at the time. Not a problem for three of them—McLaughlin, percussionist Zakir Hussein and vocalist Shankar Mahadevan—who have been playing live together for decades. They are joined by violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan who replaces L. Shankar the group's original violinist, and percussionist Selvaganesh Vinayakram. Five musicians recorded around the world at four different studios, yet the resulting recording sounds as if they are playing together in the same room.

Folks reading this enamored of the speed merchants McLaughlin, DiMeola, DeLucia playing on the oft reissued Friday Night In San Francisco ought to give this lavishly packaged, double disc well-pressed on purple vinyl set a serious spin. You can get a taste of it on this YouTube sampler.

On this live video from the group's 50th anniversary tour, after suggesting attendees buy "the vinyl" available in the lobby, the group engages in mind-bogglingly speedy and intricate vocalizing, though everyone plays at break-neck speed.

The record opens with "Shrini's Dream" a tribute to the late mandolin wiz U. Srinivas—a tune that fuses Indian motifs with jazz (do I have to remind anyone of McLaughlin's contributions to Miles's electric excursions?) to produce a hang on by the seat of your Churidar experience. The double disc set is packed with memorable precision vocal gymnastics.

While the record is not a McLaughlin string bending tour de force, he does get in some speed-licks that let you know the 81 year old still has the goods. The blend of traditional Indian elements with western musical ideas still produces the world music thrills that the original Shakti produced fifty years ago.

The deluxe gatefold gold-lief (like) gatefold packaging, limited to 3000 copies (hand, not stamped numbers) and pressed on very quiet purple vinyl help produce a deluxe very well-recorded, musically "deep and speedy" and memorable package. Various versions are available on Bandcamp. Highly recommended!

Music Specifications

Catalog No: ABLX 68

Speed/RPM: 33 1/3

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Presentation: Multi LP