||Eternal Light CD (2000) |
T.H. Vinayakram music CDs Virtuosic brilliance smoothly melds with complimentary group interplay on Shankar's Eternal Light. A quarter of a century after their first collaboration in the East-West fusion ensemble Shakti, double violinist and vocalist Shankar, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, and ghatam (clay pot) master T.H. Vinayakram come together on this Moment Records release. Son of the famed V. Lakshminarayana Iyer, Shankar was a precocious child violinist and singer. A five-octave vocal range and unmatched command of the ten-string double violin allow Shankar to sway from piercing high notes to rumbling bass tones with grace. Zakir Hussain's deftly played tabla patterns and T.H. Vinayakram's authoritatively articulated ghatam lines match Shankar's own exemplary performance without jeopardizing the integral success of the CD. It is the ensemble and their works that really glow, above and beyond the individual success of the musicians. An impelling CD, which marks 25 years of friendship and stands as a dedication to Zakir Hussain's late father and sister -- Ustad Allarakha and Raxia, respectively -- Eternal Light should shine brightly for generations to come. ~ John Vallier
/Zakir Hussain/T.H. Vinayakram.
New;W/Zakir Hussain & T.H. Vinayakram
Personnel includes: Shankar (vocals, violin); T.H. Vinayakram (ghatam); Zakir Hussain (tabla).
||Best of Shakti CD (1995) |
T.H. Vinayakram CD discography The trailblazing ethnic-fusion group Shakti embodied complimentary values from distinct musical traditions. With tabla czar Zakir Hussain, the North Indian Hindustani penchant for perfection of form and technique are heard. Through the impassioned playing of ghatam master T.H. Vinayakram and violinist Shankar, the South Indian Karnatic quest for spiritual ascension is felt. And with the post-bebop guitar work of John McLaughlin, who came to the group after playing with the electrified Miles Davis Band and Mahavishnu Orchestra, comes a determination to challenge traditional musical conventions. On the Best of Shakti, the embodiment of these complimentary musical values, along with a shared affinity for improvisation and ensemble performance, come across loud and clear. Pulled from the band's three original albums, Best of Shakti kicks off with a live number: the rip-roarious "Joy." This 18-minute work showcases McLaughlin's galloping picking patterns. Shankar's more lyrical sensibility contrasts well with McLaughlin's sonic fusillade. "Joy"'s blistering rhythms are fleshed out and expanded upon by Zakir Hussain, T.H. Vinayakram, and mridangam player R. Raghavan (the mridangam is a double-headed Karnatic hand drum). The remaining eight songs, which are taken from Handful of Beauty and Natural Elements, were recorded in the studio. Though these tunes are missing the frenetic ambience heard in "Joy," the studio sessions bring about clarity in the mix, allowing each instrument to heard without difficulty. Unlike so much contemporary "world music" that is built with bland beats and tired melodic phrases, Shakti managed to incorporate global characteristics into their music without watering down the finished product. All in all, Best of Shakti is a great retrospective album that summarily presents the band's talent at melding complimentary values into a cohesive whole all their own. ~ John Vallier
Recorded at Southhampton College, Southampton, New York on July 5, 1975; Trident Studios, London, England in August 1976; Aquarius Studios, Geneva, Switzerland in July 1977. Includes liner notes by Antonia Minnecola, John McLaughlin, Shankar, Zakir Hussain and T.H. Vinayakram.
Personnel: John McLaughlin (vocals, acoustic guitar); Shankar (vocals, violin, viola); Zakir Hussain (vocals, congas, bongos, tabla, timbales, triangle); Vikku Vinayakram (vocals, ghatam, mradangam).
Liner Note Authors: Vikku Vinayakram; Antonia Minnecola; John ...