There have been relatively few fusion projects featuring African and Indian musicians - the Master Musicians Meeting Club album, which featured Ballaké Sissoko and Petroloukas Halkias among others, being one rare example. Three different string players from three different musical traditions - Mamadou Diabaté on kora, Shujaat Khan playing sitar and Lalgudi GJR Krishnan on South Indian-style violin - could be a recipe for disaster. But it isn't. With excellent accompaniment by Gouri Shankar on tabla and Murali Trichy on ghatam (clay pot), each instrument has its own distinctive sound, and each musician is so firmly grounded that their exploration beyond the tradition is precisely that - truly exploratory.
Each of the main performers is from a famous musical family and they are steeped in the griot music of Mali, and the Hindustani and Karnatic traditions of India respectively. They all contribute to the disc as composers as well as players. The opening track, `Nyanafi' begins with the kora, its lyrical West African tune with glorious embroideries on sitar and violin. Largely meditative in feel, the disc gives each musician thoughtful space in which to exchange and manipulate the musical material. Lalgudi's contribution, `Birds First Flight', picks up the tempo with characteristic South Indian verve, and we are treated to some technical fireworks. Shujaat Khan's `Himalayan Rain' is full of filigree fingerwork and he sings along, as he often does. The title of the final track, `Sigui Dyarra', roughly translates as `when you settle in a new place and you have a wonderful time'. That's exactly what it sounds like.
-- Songlines magazine, June 2008 issue (#52)