on 19 May 2002
Venu is a hugely impressive, endlessly innovative piece of music making from two of India's finest. I found it astonishing that improvised music could build a structure so profound and unique over a period of over an hour.
At the beginning Hariprasad enters the simplest of themes on the simplest of instruments - the bamboo flutes. He then developes this theme for twenty five minutes alone, in a seemingly endless flow of invention. This however is just a prelude to the entry of Zakir Hussain. Here the rhythm of the tabla is not merely a support for Hariprasad's melodic invention, the musicians take it in turns to support each other - Hariprasad with repeated statements of the melody, Hussain with a rhythmic structure which jazz drummers would die for.
The result is a form of exstasy the musicians share with thair audience for almost forty minutes.
Just buy this album and play it every week - it will always remain vibrant.