Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
A Heavenly, celestial, evening of virtuosity.
D. Belanger | Chula Vista, CA United States | 09/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Read the reviews above, they pretty much say it all. All I can add is that this was my first exposure to the Vinayakrams. I was a HUGE Hellborg, and especially Shawn Lane fan but had not been exposed to the Carnatic side of their work. As the first review states, if you are new to this form of music then this is not an easy first listen. But that being said, once I really invested some time I was blown away in a way that is hard to describe. These five guys are "speaking" to one another in a musical language that effortlessly blends eastern and western forms. The interplay is magical and the improvisation never strays too far from the central themes. The smiles on the players faces and the fact that you can see them blowing one another away at times is worth the price of this DVD alone.
And being another believer that Shawn Lane may well be the greatest electric guitarist to ever walk the earth, I implore every musician to buy this DVD and really watch and listen to what this amazing man was able to do. The virtuosity, musicality, inventiveness, tones, and use of effects, are just a beauty to behold as well as completely awe inspiring.
Rest in Peace Shawn. You are so dearly missed by so many!"
Hellborg's first DVD is a must own.
J. Russell | Vancouver | 06/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a musician (who else reads Hellborg reviews), then this DVD is a must own. The best plectrum guitar player ever, especially in a jazz/rock/Indian style music setting (Shawn Lane) plays solos you have to see to believe (hearing isn't enough on some of these). But he is not the end of this. I only found Shawn's music because of my love for Hellborg's style of composition, which is amazing. No one has ever used the Locrian mode to an asthetically apealling end until he came along. And his bass lines make me jealous. This DVD gives you an excellent Hellborg bass solo where he trades lines with the two percussionists (end of set one), and many other great bass solo's. Hellborg has been the next Jaco for many years now and carries the bass torch even higher (really, between him and Edgar Meyer the bass as become an important compositional tool). This DVD also has Lane's most adventurous solo to date at the beggining of set two. His work with the sampler is quite insightfull and may just inspire guitar players to go pick one up and see what the possibilities are. And for those people out there who are sick of the endless percussion vocal solo's on Hellborgs last two studio releases check them out on here. It is the best vocal work I have ever heard from an Indian Percussionist. They trade lines and have fake conversations, really playing the crowd and obviously having a ball doing it. It is musical and funny. A great disc that I can't reccomend highly enough. If you are not a genreist then this is the disc for you. It is also a pleasure to hear Umamahesh sing. He has some great vocal solo's on here that demonstrate his ability to be a funtional part of an imporvisational band, and a singer who is an actual musician, not just a songwriter of lyric deliverer. Hellborg never ceases to amaze and if you liked Icon, or Godd People in Times of Evil then this is definitely worth owning. Not quite as good as Icon musically speaking but what a visceral pleasure it is to see these virutosos perform. Sheer willpower. Now if only they would come and play in Vancouver, even without Shanw Lane (R.I.P. Sep/26/03)."
If you like East/West fusion, this is ESSENTIAL
Rob W. McRae | Charleston, SC | 03/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a big fan of most things East Indian, especially their music. I am also a guitarist and have been following the guitar for 40 years. Some of my first memories of music were Ravi Shankar and Chet Atkins. I have enjoyed all kinds of different music in my lifetime and have managed to track down and listen to most great guitarists that are recorded. So I am not speaking from naivete when I say that Shawn Lane belongs at the top with the greatest guitar improvisors of this last and present century. How he managed to stay in such obscurity is a testament to the sad state of the music industry. I think it is partially because he started out leaning towards metal in his sound and compositional form. But once he got hooked up with Jonas Hellborg, he went somewhere else that not many guitarists have successfully gone. He adopted a totally different sound and tone, almost like a re-birth. And this period is a MUST HEAR, MUST SEE transformation. There are times when you won't believe what you're hearing. It is a RARE experience. What makes Lane's playing so rare is the total disregard he has for safety. Most great guitarists, if you hear them just horsing around, you come to realize that they play differently in private than in public. They usually play better in private; they hold back in public because they don't want to make mistakes. Lane is not hampered by that problem. You get occasional mistakes, but you also get a player constantly pushing the envelope. And I think PARIS is the height of it. Again, there are times when you won't believe what youre hearing. If you haven't heard Shawn Lane, you HAVE to. Start here.
As for the rest of the ensemble, well, you're in for a great ride. If you know Hellborg already, then you know youre going to get some beautiful rich chordal work and some great, jazzy, nasty funk. You haven't heard anything until you hear East Indian Funk!! The Vinayakrams are mind boggling in their virtuosity, and you will not believe the amount of percussive diversity can come out of two little instruments. If you don't like East Indian music, then you probably won't appreciate a good deal of this DVD. Especially the singing. But if you do, then you need to put this put in the ESSENTIAL catagory.
Amazing Music and Performance!
GZ | usa | 11/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Reading the reviews on this DVD I was prompted to buy it, and boy am I glad I did! Thank you for the initiation to Shawn Lane! I must have been living under a rock to have missed this incredible virtuoso.
Having been a longtime fan of Shakti I grew quite enchanted with the heavy Indian influenced sound so for me this was a no brainer, but it actually surpassed my expectations. This is one great performance!
The DVD itself has two sets (chapters) that must be individually started, so make sure you watch both. Do not miss the incredible guitar work of Shawn Lane on the first cut of the second set.
Evidently the audio is stereo rather than 5.1 (I see no audio options) but it is very clear and clean. The editing and video quality are both very good but not excellent, thus my 4 out of 5 stars.