Tuesday, March 11, 2014

add 0787 L Shankar

L. Shankar's Vision is an ethereal tour-de-force -- an oxymoron, perhaps, but an appropriate description of the otherworldly visions he conjures with his manipulations of his 10-string, stereophonic, double-necked, electric violin. The lengthy title track is a solo space journey on his massive instrument, with lots of phasing undercurrents and an aural experience of weightlessness that is rather pleasant. On the other tracks, Shankar is flanked by the hot, piercing Jan Garbarek on saxes and the cool Palle Mikkelborg on trumpet and flugelhorn, who contribute heat and ice to Shankar's textures. "All For You" is a no-man's-land of sound that uses Indian scales and minimalist repetition. "Psychic Elephant" finds Garbarek and Mikkelborg revolving around Shankar's pizzicato violin, and then the two horn players provide percussion for Shankar's dialogues with himself and Garbarek's growls on the rare bass saxophone. Exotic pan-cultural ingredients and all, Vision is reassuringly easy to listen to, undoubtedly aided by ECM's sweetly reverberant sound.


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