shanti Shanti (LP, £7.95)
One of the earliest and greatest raga rock bands! Shanti's most famous member was the legendary tabla player Zakir Hussain, who moved to Marin County in the late '60s and was eventually to hook up with the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart in the Diga Rhythm Band and Planet Drum. But before that, he formed this outfit, which also featured renowned sarod player Ashish Khan along with former members of the Loading Zone, Cold Blood and the Travel Agency. The blend of East and West on this 1971 album is utterly unique; the closest comparison might be Kaleidoscope with respect to the exoticism and the caliber of musicianship, but Shanti's harmonies sound more like Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the flavor is definitely more Indian than Middle Eastern. Over the years, Shanti has ascended into serious cult status, having been sampled by everybody from Fatboy Slim to Richard Ashcroft, but it has never been reissued in any form till now. Richie Unterberger's notes place Shanti (the group and the album) within the late-60s/early-70s Bay Area rock cosmos. A Real Gone raga resurrection and a real head trip!
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