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A Meeting By The River
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£12.02+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2001
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
on 22 November 2000
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
on 14 June 2005
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
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 October 2011
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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on 13 November 2013
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. The title track a spirit-lifting intertwining raga that asks neither musician to compromise in any way, yet sounds like two friends exchanging warm, happy stories and jokes, propelled by a gently pulsing tabla and dumbek rhythm accompaniment. The darker "Longing" and the humorously titled "Ganges Delta Blues" provide an opportunity for Ry's blue styles to get a more thorough workout and provide an interesting contrast with Mohan's Indian classical styles. The interplay is all spontaneous and one has the impression again that this is a dialogue, not just a self-indulgent jam.

The album is rounded off with the Fijian farewell song, "Isa Lei". The result seems neither Fijian, Indian, or Blues, sounding for the world like a timeless American folk song. Mohan's embellishments of the main motif are simply sublime.

Production is refreshingly neutral and allows the music to breath. Waterlily Acoustics state an ambition to produce music that is faithful to live music and the result is simply wonderful.

So, again, a unique recording and I believe yet another classic. This so nearly achieves five stars, but it just falls short of that heady height, reserved for the very finest music (think Bill Evans).

But a must have album for any acoustic music aficionado.
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on 25 December 2013
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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on 20 May 2014
Bought this CD many years ago & absolutely love it. Very calming & brings back memories of trips to India.Have bought 2 more to give as gitfs to friends.
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on 3 October 2010
Incredible album and a great colaboration between Cooder and Bhatt. Worth getting the album just for the last track -Isa Lei
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2011
If you are a fan of Ryland, then this is for you .
I feel that Ry Cooder never quites gets out of second gear . Bit like Mark Knopfler . They can both do it ( Alamo Bay , Golden Heart respectively ), but can't/won't get their arses in gear .I can't get beyond listening to any 2 of these pleasant slide guitar tracks at any one time , before wanting a bit more meat on the bone.I owned this for months before committing myself.
Did they ever get back together again ?
Does that say something ?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2012
not for the first time Amazon don't send the item as listed. I ordered Meeting By the River as described, a 2008 edition, in the belief that I would receive a reissue, perhaps even a remastered version. But no, I've received the original CD issued in 1993 - wonderful music, certainly not requiring much in the way of production, but I do have to turn the volume way up. If it was reissued and remastered in 2008 that's what I should have received - that's certainly what I ordered. Now, if I had bought this in an actual shop, I would have been able to find all this out before shelling out my money - or not.
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