From my earliest days as a guitarist I have been a fan of acoustic guitars and John McLaughlin. When he released the first string of Indian influenced acoustic LPs with Shakti in the 1970’s, it immediately spoke to me. With my rather limited technique I tried to improvise in that style. Over the years I collected various transcriptions of Shakti material, some done by friends some by myself. Obviously I was never able to play these along with the records, but they made excellent practice. These pieces have always been part of my practice schedule.
Fast forward to Summer of 2015, when my wife dragged the family to a conference of improvised music in Switzerland. This was not improvised music as in Jazz, but improvising with a bunch of people with little or no agreed upon parameters. Often more rewarding for the players than the listeners. One of the evening concerts was by a trio which included Swiss guitarist Christy Doran. This guy had been an early influence on me before even John McLaughlin – and I had all but forgotten. After returning to the US, I checked out his music on the web. While their set at the conference didn’t resonate as much with me, Christy’s own contemporary recordings really impressed me and I could easily see the connection to the band I originally heard him with in the 1970s, OM.