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A Meeting By The River


Price: £11.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Sept. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Waterlily Acoustics
  • ASIN: B000005L9Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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View the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. A Meeting By The River10:08Album Only
Listen  2. Longing11:58Album Only
Listen  3. Ganges Delta Blues 9:59Album Only
Listen  4. Isa Lei 7:49Album Only

Product Description

Product Description

A meeting between renowned US guitarist, Ry Cooder, and an equally outstanding young instrumentalist from Jaipur, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. On four extended, spontaneous tracks inspired by a river bank parable by Jelaluddin Rumi, the sound of glass against steel strings from Cooder's bottle-neck guitar contrasts and blends with the sound of a steel rod against metal strings from Bhatt's instrument of his own design, which he calls the Mohan Vina. This he evolved from the slide guitar and resembles the hollow-bodied curved-top jazz guitars of the 1920s. Rumi's poem concerns a frog and a mouse who meet on a river bank to converse in a language unhindered by the rules of grammar, and thus Cooder and Bhatt converse musically, with the complex rhythms of India added by Cooder's son, Joachim, on dumbek and Sukhwinder Singh Namdhari playing tabla.

Amazon.co.uk

Ry Cooder has long had an interest in other people's music, from the blues and gospel of black America through classic jazz and the music of Cuba. Even by this standard, his meeting with Mohan Vishwa Bhatt is certainly a departure. He is neither a serious student of Indian music nor in any way a master of its intricacies. Yet on his improvised session (this album was recorded without rehearsal in one evening), he and Bhatt truly collided musically and created moments worthy of the world-music Grammy they received for it. Bhatt is an iconoclastic character himself. He plays a modified box he calls the mohan vina that is a hybrid of a classical Indian instrument and slide guitar. He is long trained in the arduous classical style, yet his work has always demanded a lot of freedom. His duets here with Cooder are completely unique, liberating both artists from the usual constraints and creating a new musical style that is unlikely to be repeated or imitated. --Louis Gibson

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Terry on 7 Oct. 2001
Format: Audio CD
I'll leave technical remarks to one more musical if I may. Suffice to say that listening to this album evokes such feelings of harmony, peace and acceptance in me. This is due partly to the beautiful, soulful quality of the music, and partly to an understanding that this is two musicians meeting in a world which seeks to be rid of such arbitrary boundaries as culture, nationality or 'style'. The music that these two create represents, for me, a very powerful unifying force in all things. And if that sounds too esoteric, just give it a listen!
If you love tender, meaningful music, I can't recommend this highly enough.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Nov. 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ry Cooder scores again, magically matching up his guitar skills with those of VM Bhatt. Sublime melodies with plenty of slide action from Ry, in the sparse vein of Paris Texas, but Bhatt keeps up alongside very admirably. I've no idea how these two guys met, but Mr Cooder seems to have a very sensitive nose for seeking out like-minded musical playmates... and to think that some pleb travelling in my car described this as '..curry house music..'! It's sublime, not ridiculous.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD some years ago - can't remember when or why - but whenever life gets overloaded this is the one to bring peace back to your world. Do NOT listen with anyone else - it is intensely private music - your companion will be unlikely to be on the same wavelength as you and, as another reviewer remarked, could ruin it for you. The beauty of the final track is beyond words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By os TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Essentially the meeting of two slide guitar players - one infused with the folk blues of his native America, the other bringing all the spiritual serenity of the East in his playing of the Indian equivalent of the bottleneck guitar. Neither player has to adapt their style; they simply play, listen and react to each other. They establish a rhythm or a melodic template and then see where the music goes. Even after many listens, it is still exciting to hear Cooder and Mohan explore the possibilities of each composition. This is not some indulgent jam session or an excuse for guitar fireworks, but a beautifully realized musical fusion that relies on mutual understanding and sensitivity. A uplifting, beautifully recorded and artistically valid outing. Recommended
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Format: Audio CD
Many people know Ry Cooder for his soundtrack to the movie "Paris, Texas", or his albums such as "Bop 'Til You Drop". Still more probably know of his work inspiring the (re)formation of the "Buena Vista Social Club". However, probably few of them know that this recording may well be where Ry commenced a new direction in his career collaborating with musicians from different cultures.

Some have criticised Ry of being a slide blues stylist with no content and some even more uncharitable people might accuse Ry of "doing a John McLaughlin" by collaborating with an Indian musician, but that would be missing the point.

Which is that there is some great music here: all the more remarkable because they are so very different. The fact that these musicians both play a form of "slide guitar" is about the only similarity you can draw.

For me, Bhatt is the revelation here: a musician who has effectively invented his own instrument - the Mohan Vina, loosely modeled on an f-hole jazz guitar - that whilst played with a slide, has element of other Indian instruments included in the design (e.g. drone/harmonic strings). Along with his style of playing, the sound is probably more like a cross between a Sarod and Sitar, than that of a slide guitar. The sweet precision of his microtonal slides and vibratos and stunning technique make for a stark contrast with Ry's "lazy", scratchy, but earthy blues tone.

Not to denigrate Ry's playing: in the right setting, it is just great. What is in some ways surprising is that it is great here too. The key, of course, is the empathy between these two musicians.

Each of the pieces on this album are simply delightful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a Ry Cooder fan. I love what he does with world music. This CD makes Indian classical music a bit more accessible for Western audiences. It is hauntingly beautiful.
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