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Shakti was a group which played a novel acoustic fusion music which combined Indian music with elements of jazz. Its leading member was the English guitar player John McLaughlin, but it also featured the Indian violin player L. Shankar. It also included Zakir Hussain (on tabla), and Ramnad Raghavan (on the Mridangam) and T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram (on Ghatam).
In addition to fusing Western and Indian music, Shakti also represented a fusion of the Hindustani and Carnatic music traditions, since Hussain is from the North while the other Indian members are from the South.
It came together in 1975, after the dissolution of the second incarnation of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and toured fairly extensively during the period 1975-1977; it made only sporadic appearances (with personnel changes) thereafter.
After 1977 the albums which L. Shankar recorded with Z. Hussain and T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram stayed close to the music made popular by Shakti. Some twenty years later McLaughlin and Hussain put together another band with the same concept, called Remember Shakti, including V. Selvaganesh (son of T. H. "Vikku" Vinayakram ), mandolin player U. Shrinivas and eventually Shankar Mahadevan.
Two concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival (July 6, 1976 and July 8, 1977) are included among the 17 CDs of the box Montreux Concerts by John McLaughlin