Saturday, February 12, 2011

Songs of Krishna - Rec. by Deben Bhattacharya 1954,1968

Songs of Krishna - The Living Tradition
Recordings and sleevenotes by Deben Bhattacharya
Argo (Decca) - ZFB 52 - P.1971

Side A

A1 Raga Bhupali 11'28
A2 Kathak Krishnalila 4'10
A3 Mira, Bhajan 5'08

Side B

B1 Mathur 16'48
B2 Raga Vasant 6'03

A1, rec. in Jhodpur 1968
A2,A3,B2, rec. in Jaipur 1968
B1, rec in Assansol 1954

This is one of my real favourite of all the records that Deben Bhattacharya made. This LP is full of good music and atmosphere that feels close to me and carries many of the signs that I think are the best illustrations of Deben Bhattacharyas philosophy of recording.
It is also the very label that published all of his first recordings and there is a great site, both with lots of information about the label and excellent discographies, so you can whet your appetite guessing what else could be coming in my later posts from their catalogue.

More info on the label Argo check here!

Well, anyhow it belongs to the best ones I have heard sofar! If he made 130 albums like it says on the backsleeve comments then I have still to find a lot more than the thirty, forty I have been able to hear until now. So if anyone has a good copy of any of his recordings on LP I would be delighted if you could consider sharing those with me and if the quality of photos and the rip meets the standards that I like to keep here on Anthems I will be delighted to post it. Anyhow I will continue to collect them here in one way or another.

I still have a handful of the Indian and Middle Eastern and then a few from his East European
excursions but eventually I will go dry. Wonder if his Java Bali LP on Musidisc was any good?
Anyhow this one definitely is and I hope you like it as much as I do. Not only for the Music,
but for the closeness to the surroundings. A car horn honking in the distance right after a song
some outside noices all giving a wider context than the music room, the small tactile ambient sounds I like so much, in no way disturbing the music only making it more breathing and vivid.


Anonymous said...

If I were Deben, I would have swapped the A and B sides. The B side is bloody impressive!

And hey, even if I don’t see it as a real advantage, I don’t mind a bit of birdsong and car horns. Don’t forget, I once suggested you make a qin CD with added crickets, and I was serious! :)

J. G. said...

genial, bien dicho en ese idioma, amo los discos de vinilo, LPs sobretodo


bolingo69 said...

Haven't forgotten!
After all I had a concert in Shanghai with 1200 crickets and 2 qin players! Did you forget ;-?

And, yes the B-side is remarkable.

And here is a strange thing. I am not very happy about vinyl! If it wasn't for all the good music on them I would not touch them. I like the covers and I like the labels and the music. But the vinyl is actually driving me bonkers. It's very easy to scratch them. They warp in slight heat, once they get a scratch they are hard to fix. If the music covers a whole side it is almost impossible to play a full side without dust collecting under the needle, they click and hiss and often the pressings are really terrible. Now and then they are not centered, they are a bit too big for my hands. They get electrostatic overloads and popping rotation counters. I could go on and on...
To tell you the truth I always copied my LP's on to cassettes as soon as I bought them and I guess that is the main reason why most of them are in a decent condition after 40 and in some cases 50 years!
The main thing is to have really good speakers, a decent equalizer, enough hard disk space and a good mixer ;-)

Love Letters Journal said...

Yes indeed, thank you for sharing and thank Krishna for digital technology. Imagine trying to share this music with half as many people otherwise! Your LP would return unusable, if it returns at all. Also, although it's not such an issue with much folk musics, the bass instruments tend to get a bad deal out of LP reproduction.

arvind said...

The cuckoos in the tree outside my window join me in thanking you for this record. They just love the Kathak piece and break out into a spontaneous loud chorus each time I play it. :)

The Bengali kirtan (Mathur) recorded in Asansol is precious! Its possible its the only extant commercial recording of this tradition from the period. What wonderful singing! Reminded me in parts of the Vaishnavite devotional music in neighbouring Assam and also fleetingly of the vocals in Korean Sinawi music.

Thank you very much, bo!

ray said...

Thanks for sharing, but I don't see a download link...