"Shanti" - Shanti (1971)
This is a West Coast attitude using an Eastern Indian paintbrush. Originating out of San Francisco, Shanti's self-titled album fills a niche in your collection you weren't even aware you were missing. Their sound is choice meat. Many times you'll swear that you hear sitars, but surprisingly, there are none to be found on the album. It is a Sarod played by Ashish Khan. Add the sounds of Indian drums, tabla, and the like and it gives everything a cool worldly vibe.
Sometimes Shanti rocks straight out with hints of Derek and the Dominos and early Santana jams. And the vocals when they appear...well, they're bang. But it's when Shanti mixes everything together that really makes for some heady times. The good jammin' stuff. You can listen to this album with intent or just let the music spread its magic in the background.
Pulling favorites is hard because the album feels like an experience to enjoy in its entirety. I enjoyed them all. Especially the lengthier songs. The 14-minute self-titled "Shanti" jam is bliss. And the 10-minute "Innocence" that weaves into a kind of Derek and the Dominos table set is gold. The straight-up rocker "Lord I'm Comin' Round" and "Out Of Nowhere" are both ass-kick.
I found a really clean playing copy, but the cover has bruised corners and a nasty crease. There is also a signature on the album from two of the bandmates, Ashish Khan and Pranesh in black ink. (I later checked online and...well...who the heck knows if they're real?) This was Shanti's only album. You used to see copies of this album for cheap all the time. Now, it's no longer flying under the radar and prices are starting to gain altitude.
SIDE A MATRIX
ST-A-712369 AA ATGP ℗ △16524 PR
SIDE B MATRIX
ST-A-712370 AA AT/GP ST-A-71237 [CO scratchout] △16524-X PR
"Out Of Nowhere" - Shanti / "Shanti" (1971)
A1 "We Want To Be Free" 3:13
A2 "Innocence" 10:45
A3 "Out Of Nowhere" 3:27
A4 "Lord I'm Comin' Round" 3:02
B1 "Good Inside" 3:13
B2 "Shanti" 14:46
B3 "I Do Believe" 1:29
Ashish Khan - sarod
Zakir Hussain - tabla, dholak, & neal
Neil Seidel - lead guitar
Steve Haehl - vocals, guitar
Steve Leach - vocals, bass
Frank Lupica - drums
Pranesh Khan - tabla & neal