Festival of India Presents - The Great Tradition - Masters of Music
EMI HMV India - EALP 1453-54 [2LP] - P.1984
1-01 Bhopali  3.16 Zohra Bai
1-02 Bhairavi  4.22 Bhundu Khan [sarangi]
1-03 Shudda Kalyan  4.23 Abdul Karim Khan
1-04 Lalit  3.18 Fayyaz Khan
1-05 Nat Kamod  4.09 Kesar Bai Kerkar
1-06 Dev Gandhar  4.11 Krishnarao Shankar Pandit
2-01 Gujri Todi  3.11 Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
2-02 Hori  4.39 Siddheshwari Devi
2-03 Gaur Sarang  4.50 Mallikarjun Mansur
2-04 Ramdasi Malhar  6.35 Amir Khan
2-05 Asavari  4.12 Gangubai Hangal
3-01 Shree  6.25 Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan [Sitar & Sarod]
3-02 Tilak Kamod  4.09 Vilayat Khan [Sitar]
3-03 Bageshwari  2.55 Kishori Amonkar
3-04 Kasiramakriya  4.02 Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar
3-05 Saramati  3.15 Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu [Violin]
3-06 Mohanam  4.01 Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer
4-01 Todi [N.D.] 3.36 T.N. Rajaratnam Pillai [Nagaswaram]
4-02 Kalyani  4.10 Madurai Mani Iyer
4-03 Adi Tala  3.53 Palghat Mani Iyer [Mridangam]
4-04 Mayamalavagaula  2.45 D.K. Pattamal
4-05 Vachaspati  3.31 Doreswamy Iyengar [Vina]
4-06 Nata [N.D] 4.04 M.D. Ramanathan
4-07 Sankarabharanam  4.04 T.R. Mahalingam [Flute]
Early on, also in the mid to later part of the sixties, an intellectual engineer that had been deported to the little community where I grew up, together with a few local students, and of course I was one of them, that had already been singled out as impossible to use for the footballteam, or most any other normal social activity like pair dancing, drinking and fighting, started a film club that graciously borrowed the local Movie theatre when nothing else was showing started to arrange screenings of movies by Fellini, Bergman and Bunuel and several Japanese and some Indian movies among them the Satjayit Ray movie Jalsaghar The Music Room witch had a big impact on me, I was more or less ignoring the underlying message of the movie and focused happily on the music and dance parts.
Well, it is a bit confusing to try to come up with a first post of Indian vocal music as there are so many wonderful singers!
How to choose, when each one of these singers has opened up a new universe to me. And as I mentioned in previous posts, I had, after indulging for some years in the instrumental music, more or less completely abandoned any other listening after I finally made contact with the vocal music.
The first I heard was really the greatest singers in all of hindustani music. Each absolutely phenomenal! The first records I remember came from two friends, that very quickly, one after the other, lent me some EMI HMV India LP's of Abdul Karim Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, D.V. Palushkar, Amir Khan, Vilayat Hussain Khan and Kesar Bai Kerkar. Can you imagine anything to surpass this? It was impossible to choose one before the other, so I immediately fell in love with all of them! They very soon to be followed by Omkarnath Thakur, Bhimsen Joshi , C.R. Vyas, Dagar Brothers, Mallikarjun Mansur, Kumar Ghandarva, Amanat & Fateh Ali Khan, Nazakat Ali & Ustad Salamat Ali and Lakshmi Shankar. Even the then by the purists shunned Parween Sultana reached my ears and I found also her singing to be delightful but that was before she hooked up with the to Dilshad Khan who in my opinion were not at all up to her standard. It went further and a little later I was also listening to real obscurities like Mushtaq Hussein Khan, Rajab Ali Khan.
I tried to understand something about the different gharanas and must say that at my young age I failed. There was very little guidance and very hard to do any comparative listening, but it did not matter because my ears and heart was open and I was filled to the brim with this music, I was breathing it like someone that had been held under water for a very long time and finally came up for air!
This went on for a long while and I was far from satiated but then the Karnatic sky opened with another downpour of fantastic artists and much like I had been totally enchanted by the reeds of Bismillah Khan I was now blown to pieces by the exploding tavil and fantastic Nagaswaram of T.N. Rajaratnam Pillai and Karukurichi P. Arunachalam. And now and then when the tempo was getting too excited, I was mildly brought back into a state of peacful bliss by the mercyfull voice of M.S. Subbulakshmi and only quite a bit later did I find the male singers like Madurai Mani Iyer, Alathur Brothers, M.M. Dhandapani Desikar, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, and my big favourites M.D.Ramanathan, and Madurai Somasundaram
I am only listing so many names to give balance to my first vocal post and I promise that in due time I will try to post any LP's by the artists mentioned here and still some more, as they surface or come in my way!
For my first posts I had selected one LP each by Kesar Bai Kerkar, D.V. Paluskar, Amir Khan, Abdul Karim Khan and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan but just now when I had a very fruitful conversation with one of my good friends at Panchamkauns editorial board, only some minutes ago, I came to mention this double LP compilation. While I read to him the track listings, I realized that tracks by most of the great artists I have mentioned above were included.
And when I remembered that almost half of the second LP of the compilation moved from the North into Tamil Nadu and Karnatic music with equally strong names it was suddenly very clear that this would have to be the next post. Not entirely vocal but in most parts a very good selection I decided to go with this one and I hope you like it!
The gatefold is rather surprising in it minimalistic information, so when you open the gatefold the two brown pages are left blank.
Fortunately, at least the artists and tracks are given on the back of the LP and with years of recording but no more.
I have seen several copies of this double LP and none of them had any accompanying leaflet. None of the photos of artists in this post are included on the LP's covers and is to be regarded as "extra decoration" only.
As there is no information whatsoever on the LP itself about the artists here is at least photos and dates and more details will follow as I start to post the individual albums later.
c. 1868-1913 - Agra
1880–1955 - sarangi - Delhi
Abdul Karim Khan
Kesar Bai Kerkar
Krishnarao Shankar Pandit
1893-1989 - Gwailor
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
c.1902–1968 - Patiala
1907-1976 - Varanasi?
1910-1992 - Jaipur-Atrauli
1912-1974 - Indore
1930-2009 - Kirana
1920- Sitar - Maihar
Ali Akbar Khan
1922-2009 - Sarod - Maihar
1928-2004 - Sitar - Etawah
1932 - - Jaipur-Atrauli
Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu
1893-1964 - Violin
Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer
T.N. Rajaratnam Pillai
1898–1956 - Nagaswaram
Madurai Mani Iyer
Palghat Mani Iyer
1912-1981 - Mridangam
1920–1997 - Vina
MDR in concert
T.R. Mahalingam "Mali"