The guitar and satvik veena in “Anjuman” debate back and forth. One instrument lets off a stream of notes, the other picks up and responds. Cassius Khan referees on his tabla. This is the essence of Slide to Freedom’s 20,000 Miles in a concentrated form, two cultures meeting and responding without precisely melting into one another. The veena remains Indian, the guitar remains American.They share ideas, but they’re always looping back to their respective origins. The veena veers into the slangier rhythm of the guitar and slips back. Some tracks are more Indian than American, others are more American than Indian, and the album combines them evenly. Salil Bhatt has a vivid and responsive zing. Doug Cox matches that energy at his own twanged pace.
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