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Natural Elements

John McLaughlin, Shakti Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £7.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Natural Elements + A Handful Of Beauty + Shakti with John McLaughlin
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Mar 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Jazz
  • ASIN: B00000JM4T
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,795 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Mind Ecology 5:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Face To Face 5:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Come On Baby Dance With Me 1:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. The Daffodill And The Eagle 7:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Happiness Is Being Together 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Bridge Of Sighs 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Get Down And Sruti 7:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Peace Of Mind 3:22£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

SHAKTI Natural Elements CD

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album ever, by anyone 5 Mar 2008
Format:Audio CD
I've been listening to this cd for years, since a friend played it to me at university in about 1991. I then looked for it for about five years before stumbling upon it when I was living in Japan (at that time it was out of print everywhere else). All I can say is, it's beautiful! There's nothing else like it in the world. My personal favourites are the daffodil and the eagle, which has a very interesting climactic rhythmical structure, and get down and sruti, which I would say is more like a blues than a reggae - the highlight is Shankar's crazy, funky solo. get it, listen to it, and expand your mind and soul!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Down & Sruti - Right on Mahavishnu! 5 Aug 2005
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
McLaughlin's Shakti period climaxes on this album with an orgasmically spiritual brilliance that's hard to put into words. His dazzling chops are paralleled by Indian instrumentalists of equally stunning ability; Zakir Hussain, etc. A lot of the time, even with McLaughlin, this can get tiresome, but not in this case. Aside from the blistering 'Mind-Ecology', this is a fairly mellow album. And at all times it is atmosphere that transcends technique.

This is an early world-music/fusion landmark. Both of those terms can lead to an involuntary gag-reflex, but beware, you could miss out on something stupefyingly beautiful! The mixture of Tabla, Guitar (various numbers of string arrangements feature guitar-wise, with McLaughlin employing modified instruments with 'resonator' strings etc), Violin, and Mridangam, an Indian double-headed drum, is astonishingly rich (there are what sound like timbales on 'Happiness Is Being Together' too!). The music mixes ridiculously complex unison passages with long improvisations, though this is still the most focussed and jewel-like of the Shakti albums.

There's a joyful vibe here, hard to describe, but immeditaely discernable on listening. Highlights include the funky syncopation of 'Face to Face', 'Happiness Is Being Together', with it's wordless vocalising, the mournful 'Bridge Of Sighs', and 'Get Down & Sruti', with it's groovy tabla/percussion intro. Shakti's three album output comes to an end with the heart-achingly beautiful 'Peace of Mind'. Talk about going out at your best!

To my mind this is essential listening.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
This is the peak of the Shakti albums. It stands above the others, as its name suggests, because of its strongly melodic roots. Of the 8 (not 10!) tracks, only the first, "Mind Ecology" plays the rather one-dimensional speed-blues game of other Shakti pieces. The others are very varied and colourful, without lacking instrumental brilliance. In fact the playing is all the more impressive for being directed towards such human feelings. The standout track is "Get Down and Sruti", in which the band gives its own sly take on the reggae beat. You will still be skanking hours later.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 28 July 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
ok, but for third party
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, sublime voice of fusion. 12 April 2003
By Lord Chimp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I do not believe there is a "best" Shakti album. All of them are brilliant and exhilarating and essential like chapters in a book. _Natural Elements_ does, however, stand out as the most lyrical and beautiful of Shakti's albums from the 70s, in my opinion. Shakti is a pluralistic group adapting some Western jazz idioms with an Indian environment, and here they also capture the widest range of moods. John McLaughlin straddles the line dividing Western and Eastern musical traditions, bridging the two with his guitar as his soul burns along the fretboard. Such is evident enough from the get-go, with "Mind Ecology", a fast-paced opener penned by McLaughlin, tearing along the pattering gallop of earthen percussion. But to celebrate their virtuosity as an end in itself would be a dishonor. "Mind Ecology", for all its speed and wild playing, exemplifies the "hidden" allure of Shakti -- the incredible virtuosity of these musicians is just a means to an end. The end of course being the articulation of an thrillingly joyful disposition, infectiously spiritual and focused. "Baby Baby Come Dance With Me" and "Happiness Is Being Together" are merry, vivacious jewels sparkling in the desert sands. The heavenly "Face to Face" and "Bridge of Sighs" slow that Shakti is just as engrossing when softened and calm. "Peace of Mind" is a spare beauty (that is unfortunately short) written by McLaughlin, where Shankar's violin renders a rapturously crying melody over gentle strumming. Definitely one of the most lovely moments in Shakti's discography. "The Daffodil and the Eagle" is exquisite, charged with the clairvoyant interplay that is typical of this group, with lead instruments and percussion entwining magnificently. Hearing them live would be the most prime way to experience the group's sheer acumen and togetherness, but for the diasporal Shakti, _Natural Elements_ is definitely essential. If you've never heard Shakti, this is as good an introduction as any.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful 11 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is by far the best Shakti record, my favorite Indian-influenced music and my second-favorite John McLaughlin record (after "Birds of Fire"). It bubbles with instrumental virtuosity and rhythmic and melodic fecundity above its great emotional and spiritual depth. (There is no such person as "Shakti McLaughlin". This is a recording of performances by the musical group Shakti which includes guitarist John McLaughlin and violinist L. Shankar--not related to sitarist Ravi Shankar.)
Also recommended: "Pentatonic Scales for the Jazz Rock Keyboardist" by Jeff Burns.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Shakti Recording 12 Feb 2002
By Uncle_Audio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This one is the their best. Of all the Shakti recordings, I have the originals on vinyl, this one is the most stunning. I like selected tracks from some of the other albums like "Shakti - The Believer," which is a totally live recording from their European tour in 1999. But, this is by far and away their best album yet produced. A blend of the styles of Northern and Southern India and chromatic Jazz fusion. This music is inspirational, and uplifting. With the mastery of John McLaughlin and L. Shankar on violin, it will unleash a wave of a creative, musical, and spiritual energy. All that it embraces is truly a glimpse of the primal power and creativity that can be manifest in this world. This album/CD sets the standard for genre. Few musicians are capable of attaining these heights as John McLaughlin and Shakti have done here.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will be my fourth purchase 16 Nov 2000
By john doh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is my fourth purchase of this phenomenal album. Originally, I bought a cassette of it when it was relegated to the bargain bin many years ago. When I first played the album, I thought "oh no, another waste of money. No wonder it was so cheap" However, after listening to it again, the album got better. Each time I listened to it, it got better, and better, until I was taking it to workouts, and playing it during my spirited drives up mountainous roads. The power, grace and beauty of this music is something to behold. It is so inspiring, and stimulating, that I wore out two cassettes, and a vinyl album. Hopefully, this CD with last a bit longer. In this particular album, I think Shakti reached its zenith. The sound is unlike any other, and the quality is consistent throughout. Each player is a virtuoso in his own right, and the combination of them playing in feverish harmony is just mindboggling. It's very hard to describe, but if you can image four virtuosos playing at the limits of their instuments, and in perfect unison, then you get some idea. Truly and important work of art.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Beauty and Perfection 20 Mar 2000
By Jeff Grimm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The name John McLaughlin alone sends chills up my spine.Being a serious jazz guitarist myself,I find that John's music,from "Extrapolation" on has been a great journey.One in which he continues to grow and transform himself from album to album.The group Shakti,could be the greatest fusion combination ever.Their technical ability is unmatched,their communication with one another is telepathic,and their passion is nirvanic.They wrote some of the most absolutely beautiful and spiritual music that has ever graced this planet.This album is the sum of all parts of Shakti.The explosive melodies of The Daffodil & The Eagle,the rhythmic punch of Get Down and Sruti,The passion of Face to Face,and the poise and eloquence of Peace of Mind.This is the type of recording that seems to come out of a dream.A magical dream.And McLaughlin it seems,never loses touch with the spiritual and human side of music,whereas some of his peers who have the theoretical and technical abilities tend to give way to more glossy,flashy compositions with lots of notes but no real voice or message.McLaughlin remains the zenith of musical expression in my eyes.I recommend this album to any musician and non-musician alike who wishes to hear what heavenly ethereal beauty sounds like.
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