Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar • Gangeyabushan (1st take)

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar  • Raga Mangeyabushan (sic!)
[i.e. Gangeyabushan] Recorded 1968 in Bombay by Bengt Berger.
Disques Alvarès (Productions Boîte à Musique) - LD 114 - P.1974

Side A

A1 Gangeyabushan 19'16

Side B

B1 Gangeyabushan 21'10

Here as one file without the interruption of a total lenght of 40'28!

Here is another record that has also been a very long time coming. I did not want to post it totally out of context and felt there had to be some more substance to this blog before I could posts such a profound piece here! I hope you understand. It was generously supplied a long time ago by a true and very good friend in music! This piece, that had been “cleaverly” cut up because of the LP format, have now been cleverly edited together as there was no interruption on the master tape. ;-)

I am pretty sure you will enjoy! I usually don't phrase myself in the negative, but if you don't like it go find another country than Luobaniya ...

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin on the roof terrace in Chembur 1968.

There is a noteworthy CD release with an alternate take of this piece on Amigo AMCD 906 • Gangeyabushan, and the reason for that is that is that Jacques Lévi-Alvarès [aka Jacques Lévy-Alvarès] the founder of BAM - Boîte à Musique / Disques Alvarès, never returned the masters! There are still a few copies left of this CD with the 2nd take, also recorded the same day. available from Country & Eastern, and at a very low price as well, less than a third of what a regular CD costs these days. If you are interested, do take a look here, before they are all gone...

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar • Raga Chandrakauns - P.1974

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar • Glimpses of Ancient Music of India 
- Raga Chandrakauns
HMV EMI India - ECSD 2736 - P.1974

Side A

A1 Chandrakauns - Alap, Jod, Jhala, Gat - Chautaal 20'34

Side B

B1 Rudra Veena Recital - Gat - Jog  Aditaal 10'17
B2 Mridang solo - Chautaal, by Swami Pagal Das 8'30

This post is more than overdue and to say that the influence of Ustad Zia Mohiuddin on me and many of my friends has been tremendous is almost an understatement. Not only because of his own music but also what it brought with it of other musicans in the family and its extensions as well as a tremendous inspiration to find out more about Indian culture as a whole. It is with so much profound joy that I listen to almost any vibrant note by his gentle steady pluckings of the been and it never fails to soothe my weary mind when it starts rambling. 

A very good musician friend of mine, who met Ustad already in the sixties said, that he felt, that just being in the same room with him would slow everything down. Ustad did everything in slow motion just like his music developes in  one peaceful, yet forceful wave after another. Nothing in this world has such a steadying impact on my psyche. This is pure balsam for my soul. Of course again we will have to repeat that the LP format is not ideal for the grandeur of Ustads music, but we all know that fortunately there are other longer recordings to behold. But I hope that no one shall be dissatisfied with these first real post of the Dagar family traditions. There will be many more to follow and there is pages to write about this music, as has already been done. Search the net and I assure you that you shall find some more information. 

On this compilation that I posted earlier here, there is also a very short track by Ustad to behold.

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (14 March 1929 – 28 September 1990), was a North Indian (Hindustani) classical musician, one of the 19th generation of Dagar family dhrupad musicians. He was largely responsible for the revival of the rudra vina as a solo concert instrument.

Z. M. Dagar was born in the town of Udaipur, Rajasthan and began musical study with his father, Ustad Ziauddin Khan Dagar, court musician for the Maharaj of Udaipur. He was trained both in vocals and in the rudra vina, an instrument used by vocalists to practice melodies. The vina was traditionally not played in public, but the young Zia Mohiuddin adopted it as his primary instrument, giving his first recital at age 16. Although he was discouraged by his father from experimenting with the structure of the vina, he nevertheless modified the instrument after his father's death to better equip it for solo performance, transforming it into a larger bass instrument (sometimes called a Dagar vina): With the help of the instrument house Kanailal & Brother, he enlarged the tumbas (gourds) and dhandhi (hollow neck) to create greater resonance and to allow the notes to sustain longer and so better reproduce the techniques used in dhrupad singing. Because of these modifications, the instrument was too heavy to be held in the standard Northern posture (with one tumba on the left shoulder), so he played instead in the Southern posture, with one tumba on the ground and one on the left knee.
snipped from wikipedia here

And by all means check this site out for more history of the instrument, and musicians.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Jamaluddin Bhartiya • Two Ragas

Jamaluddin Bhartiya 
• Two Ragas 
Opus 3 - 8004 - P.1980

Side A 

A1 Nat Bhairav 24'04

Side B

B1 Sindhu Bhairavi 24'51

Rashid Jamal, tabla
Razia Ragini, tanpura

Recorded March 24-25 1980 in the hall Universel, Sufi Movement
Katwijk, Holland.

Here is a record that I had hoped would satisfy some of the urges of a senior editor at Panchamkauns who had an unquenchable thirst for the Ustads vocal meandering. He wanted almost desperately to hear him sing along with his sitar (which he supposedly does much better than Vilayat Khan) but unfortunately I cannot hear as much as a hum from the maestro. I'll post it anyhow and if someone else has a recording where we can hear him bursting into vocals, please share it with us here. There is one on Space Records SP 4, recorded in Amsterdam 1972 that I have not heard that may be a possible candidate. 

The Artist

As it is very often the case in India, Jamaluddin Bhartiya comes from a family which has been devoted to music for centuries. It is his father Ustad Abdul Qadar Khan, a court musician in Sailana State, who introduced him to music. Then he recieved guidance in vocal music from the famous Ustad Amir Khan. But his main interest was the sitar; therefore he required Pandit Ravi Shankar to teach him, and had the honour of becoming his first disciple.

After having built a flourishing career as a concert and radio artist, Jamaluddin Bhartiya embarked on a new chalange; that of bringing the richness of the Indian musical tradition to the west. With the blessing of his guru Ravi Shankar, he established the Tritantri Vidya Peeth, a school for the teaching of Indian music and culture. Branches have been opened in Holland and Switzerland, and they attract each year numerous students from many countries.

As a performer, Jamaluddin Bhartiya is extremely appreciated, both in India and abroad, for the beauty aud profoundness of his style, in the pure tradition of the gayaki ang, as well as for the striking dexterity of his technique.

On this recording, he is accompanied by Rashid Jamal on the tabla, and by
Razia Ragini on the tanpura.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur • A Doyen of the Gwailor & Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana

Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur 
• A Doyen of the Gwailor & Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana
HMV EMI India - PSLP 3013 - P.1988

Side A

A1 Khayal Madhyalay, teen tal piya banjara, Raga Sughrai - Kanada 15'00
A2 Khayal Madhyalay, teen taal ankhiyan mori lage, Raga Paraj 9'25

Side B

B1 Khyal Jhaptaal ang sughanda - Raga Malavi 24'23

Harmonium — Walawalkar • Baban Manjrekar
Tabla: Balakrishna Iyer
Tanpura: Madhan Bongale • Dharwarkar • Madhusudan Apte
Vocal Support: Rajshekar Mansur 

Since a very long time ago, when I first fell in love with the singing of Mallikarjun Mansur, it has always been such a great pleasure to find new recordings by him. I will post some more later and he was here before in an earlier post but only with one short track on a compilation. I am very pleased to be able to share this record with you and I hope you sahll enjoy this as much as I do. For me this is the real medicine for whatever ails you! Listen and you shall instantly feel much better...

Mallikarjun Bheemarayappa Mansur (1910–1992) was an Indian classical singer of the khyal style in the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. He received the three national Padma Awards: Padma Shri in 1970, Padma Bhushan in 1976, and Padma Vibhushan in 1992.

Mansur was born in Dharwad, Karnataka, in a poor family of cultivators. His father, a farmer by occupation was an ardent lover and patron of music, though he lived from a hand to mouth condition. Spotting the talent in his son, Mallikarjun's father engaged him to a travelling dance-and-drama troupe. As he hailed from the village Mansur, he was nicknamed so and this accompanied him for the rest of his life. The owner of this troupe took a liking to the tender and melodious voice of Mallikarjun and encouraged him to sing different types of compositions during the drama-performances. Hearing one such performance, he was picked up by Pundit Appaya Swamy under whom he had his initial training in Carnatic music. Sometime later, he was introduced to classical Hindustani music under Nilkanth Bua Alurmath of Miraj who belonged to the Gwalior Gharana. The latter brought him to Ustad Alladiya Khan (1855?- 1946), the stalwart and the then partiarch of Gwalior gharana, in the late 1920s, who referred him to his elder son, Ustad Manji Khan. Following Manji Khan's untimely death, he came under the tutelege of Ustad Bhurji Khan, the younger son of Ustad Alladiya Khan. This grooming under the Khan Brothers had the most important influence on his singing.

Performing career

Pt. Mallikarjun was well known for his command over a large number of rare (aprachalit) ragas such as Shuddh Nat, Asa Jogiya, Hem Nat, Lachchhasakh, Khat, Shivmat Bhairav, Bihari, Sampoorna Malkauns, Lajawanti, Adambari Kedar and Bahaduri Todi, as well as his constant, mercurial improvisations in both melody and metre without ever losing the emotional content of the song.

HMV started to bring him in limelight following his success in some of the music conferences in the 1930s; most probably his first record under HMV banner came out in 1935-36. Initially, his voice and style resembled that of Manji Khan and Pundit Narayan Rao Vyas, but gradually, he came out of this influence and developed his own style of rendition. His mastery over the traditional and non-traditional forms of almost all the gharanas made him a favourite among lovers and patrons of Indian classical music from the 1950s. However, it was not until mid of 1960s that he became a household name. Scholars hardly differ on the purity and clarity of his note, the musical ambience created by his renditions and his dexterous handling of difficult compositions.

A simple and straightforward person, Pundit Mallikarjun was known for his innocence and ability to mix very easily with members of his fraternity and outsiders, especially, the younger folk. He was very liberal and open-minded in nature and trained a number of well known playback singers; as Arati Mukherjee recalls, one of his favourite song was "Raina beet Jaaye....." from the film "Amar Prem", composed by Rahul Dev Burman (1939-1994), which he used to hum rather often.

Like Pt Mallikarjun, Dharwad is home to other musicians like Bhimsen Joshi from Gadag, Gangubai Hangal from Hubli, and Basavaraj Rajguru from Yalival. "Mrutyunjaya", his home in Dharwad was converted into a memorial museum.

snipped from Wikipedia here

From the backside of the record sleeve we can muse on the following notes...

The name of Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur needs no introduction to those who are ardent lovers of Hindustani music. At 77, today, the maestro remains not only the oldest surviving exponent of the tradition, who is still active on the performing stage; he also happens to be the only titan of a hoary tradition - a crusader who has pledged himself all his life to protect and preserve his great inheritance in all its dignity and grandeur, its beauty and sensitivity, and its subtlety and charm.

Ardent connoisseurs of Panditji's "gayaki" will find that his music embodies a rare assimilation of three musical streams - the tradition of Camatic music and the two Hindustani "gharanas" of Gwalior and Atrauli-Jaipur. Behind this is his eventful and fruitful studentship with stalwarts of the eminence of Appayya Swami, Neelkanthbuva Alurmath, Manji Khan and his younger brother, Bhurji Khan. Side by side with his long and arduous grooming under the tutelage of so many illustrious gurus, he has devoted a life-time to perform his daily "riyaz" in the true spirit of a "tapasvin".

This is the secret behind his personality-bound style. He is gifted with a sonorous voice, known for its monumental depth and range. His singing reveals a keen sense of style and a keener sense of aesthetics. Whatever the "raga", he works himself into an intense mood right from the first "swara". Thereby, he establishes immediate rapport with his listeners. His passionate urge for self-expression and instinctive feeling for the artistic cast a hypnotic spell on his listeners.

If Panditji's "vilambits" exude uncanny unity of form and design, in which "alapchari" and the virtues of "bol" and "upaj" are so happily blended, his "druts", replete with intricate rhythms and complex, odd-shaped "taans" and "bol-taans" are pleasing to the ear, but baffling to the mind. What is more, Panditji excels in the rendition of well-known as well as less-known "ragas" with equal felicity, ease and skill. The repertoire of three rare "ragas", presented here, resoundingly brings home the "sui generis" character of the maestro's music.

The Music

Side A: 

(1) Raga: Sugharai-Kanada: This is a difficult and controversial melody. Conventionally rendered around midnight, it takes "pancham" and "rishabh" as its "vadi" and "samvadi swaras", respectively, while it omits "dhaivat" in "aroha". The "raga" is heard here through a "khayal" composition, set to medium tempo, in "teentaal" of 16 "matras".

(2) Raga: Paraj: This is also a difficult melody, rendered in the closing hours of the night It has a striking resemblance with the "raga Basant", and only acknowledged maestros can present it with complete authenticity. It is a "sampoorna" melody, in which "taar shadja" and "panchama" are the "vadi" and "samvadi swaras", respectively. The use of both the variations of "madhyam" gives the "raga" its subtle identity. The "raga" is heard here in a "khayal" composition, set to medium tempo, in "teentaal" of 16 matras.

Side B: 

Raga: Malavi: This, again, is a melody known for its intricate and complex build-up. It is a speciality of the Atrauli-Jaipur "gharana" and is rendered in the early hours of the night It takes "rishabh" and "pancham" as the "vadi" and "samvadi swaras". Broadly speaking, it embodies a blend of the "ragas", 'Hindol" and "Bibhas". The "bandish" sung by the maestro is a "vilambit khayal", set to "jhaptaal" of 10 matras.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

D.V. Paluskar - some more of his plates reissued on LP

D.V. Paluskar • Some more glorious 78 rpm's 
HMV EMI India - EALP 1295 - P.1966

Side A

A1 Are Manram Nam - Lalat - Vilambit Teental 3'33
A2 Kaisku Marua - Bibhas - Teental 3'15
A3 Nike Ghunghariya - Bilashkani Todi - Teental 3'31
A4 Barhaiya Lao Lao Re - Asawari - Teental 3'22
A5 Piyu Palan Lagi Mori Ankhiyan - Goud Sarang  - Teental 3'12

Side B

B1 Surja Rahi Ho - Hameer - Teental 3'36
B2 Koelia Bole - Tilak Kamod  -  Teental 3'36
B3 Jake Kana Re - Kedar - Jhaptal 3'36
B4 Aai Samdhin - Miyan Ki Malhar - Ektal 3'27
B5 Nand Ke Chhalia Dhit - Malkauns - Teental 3'16

A very promising career was cut short suddenly and prematurely when D V Paluskar, a celebrated son of a celebrated father, died on 26th October 1955 at the early age of 34 years. And Indian classical music suffered a loss that cannot be made good.

The only son of the illustrious musician Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, who was known for his virtuosity in the classical field throughout the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent, young D.V. Paluskar was deprived of paternal grooming ï the art of singing at a very early age on account of his father's death. His musical heritage however helped him to pursue his art under the tutelage of various well known musicians notably Prof. Narainrao Vyas and Pt. Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, both pupils of his father Gradually he evolved a style of his own in marked contrast to that of his contemporaries and ultimately attained a place amongst top-ranking musicians of the day He was a frequent broadcaster from All India Radio stations and was a prominent member of a cultural delegation that visited China in 1955 at the instance of the Indian Government.
For some more music and info about D.V. Paluskar see previous post here

I still of course have no excuse for posting so few Hindustani female singers, and there will be many later on but I also have to go with my main interests to keep myself happy. There will also be some good compilations of thumri and even ghazals but first some more of the more serious and profound music, the music that makes you want believe in our species, that makes you want to belong to mankind without any remorse and associate with the one force that can purify the mind and hopefully purge the greed from those that have gone astray and do not see where true wealth is. It is here in this music! I hope you will all feel the benevolence emanating from the truly human sounds of D.V. Paluskar...

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

D.V. Paluskar • Raga Shree and some plates reissued on LP

D.V. Paluskar • Raga Shree and some 78 rpm's
HMV - EMI India - EALP 1263 - P.1962

Side A

A1 Raghupati Raghav Rajaram
A2 Jab Jankinath
A3 Thumak Chalat Ramchandra
A4 Payo Ri Maine Ram Ratan
A5 Chalo Man Ganga Jamuna Teer

Side B

B1 Raga Shree - Hari Ke Charan Kamal

Pandit Dattatreya Vishnu Paluskar (May 28, 1921 - October 25, 1955), was a Hindustani classical vocalist. He was considered a child prodigy. D.V. Paluskar gave his debut performance at the Harvallabh Sangeet Sammelan in Punjab at the age of fourteen. He inherited the Gwalior gharana and the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, but he was always open to adopting aesthetic features of other gharanas and styles.

He had a very sweet and melodious voice. His alap clearly outlined the raga he sang; this was followed by the bandish embellished by beautiful taans in an effortless enchanting style. He was a master at presenting an attractive and comprehensive picture of a raga in a very short duration. He cut his first disc in 1944 and visited China as a member of the Indian cultural delegation in 1955. Besides pure classical music, he was also a great bhajan singer. He introduced the famous bhajan "Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo" to the modern generation. He is also famous for an unforgettable duet with Ustad Amir Khan in the film Baiju Bawra. The only other film he sang for was a Bengali film called Shaap Mochan.

snipped from Wikipedia

D. V. Paluskar was gifted with a rich and melodious voice and the recorded performances he has left behind are replete with many a graceful pattern of skilful workmanship. On one side of this record is offered a classical exposition entitled "Raga Shri" which the artiste recorded barely three weeks before his death and which remains the last recording of his brilliant though shortlived career. The other side comprises of selections from his standard records on different themes all devotional in character and rendered in a light classical style.
from the liner notes on the back of the sleeve

So, I said that there was a severe shortage of D.V. Paluskar here, as he was not even represented on this compilation here earlier with all sorts of other greats, it is really a shame! But here is a more comprehensive collection and together with the next post it will at least make up for some of my previous negligence.

Also, I feel I must explain to the more hardline ICM listeners and the veteran rasikas that I really intend this place to be some kind of archive for music that is about to fall into oblivion at least among the many that maybe even never were touched by this wonderfully rich traditions.

So, I will keep on posting some records you already have, or have already heard . I find it impossible to post only extremely rare recordings because it would not do justice to this increadibly rich music tradition. There is no shortage on rare records to post but to the many even this D.V. Paluskar is rare, even in India.

Also, if I can make some of the "dub steppers" and "drum and basers" and "hip-hoppers" and "shufflers" (there are two of those in my house) or anyone else of the younger generations, to get in the slightest interested in any of these recordings, well, then at least a part of my mission is done. Especially now when they have discovered vinyl records and think tube amplifiers and open reel tape recorders are really cool ;-)

I hope that those of you that already have this record have not forgotten how wonderful the voice of Paluskar is, and still would consider giving it a spin (or a decoding as the case may be), and that those of you younger kids that maybe just thinks he has a funny hat, will still stop for a moment and listen.

I hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fayaz Khan Sahib • More Ragas from 78 rpm's

Fayaz Khan Sahib • Ragas from 78 rpm
Lalit, Ramkeli, Deshi Dhamar, Bhairavi, Khamaj Dadra
EMI India - EALP 1292 - P.1965

Side A

A1 Tarpat Hun — Lalit 3:16
A2 Unsang Lagi Ankhia — Ramkeli 3'14
A3 Garwa Main Sang Lage — Todi 3:12
A4 Ari Mero Nahi — Deshi Dhamar - Hori 3'21
A5 Baju Band Khul Khul Jaye — Thumri Bhairavi 3'15
A6 More Jobanoa Par Aai — Khamaj Dadra 3'12

Side B

B1 Jhan Jhan Jhan Jhan Payel Baje — Nat Behag 3'00
B2 Nayan Se Dekho Ek Jhalak — Sughrai 3'09
B3 Kheyal — Darbari 3'01
B4 Man Mohan Brij Ko Rasia — Paraj 3'09
B5 Phool Banki Gendan — Jaunpuri 3'13
B6 Chalo Kahe Ko Jhuti — Bhairavi Dadra 3'08

Here are some more stately music for an elevated taste. Unfortunately not enough have been reissued of these old plates by Fayaz Khan Sahib. There are some more collections on CD's but with mostly overlapping repertoire. Any extra supply is most welcome. Hope you enjoy!

Ustad Fayaz Khan (born at Sikandara near Agra in 1886, died 5 November 1950 in Baroda, he
is considered to be one of the most important exponents of the Agra Gharana and one of the most influental vocalists of last century.

From the backside of the sleeve we can add to our gleanings the following information...

Ustad Fayaz Khan was born towards the close of the last century in a family of musicians belonging to ‘Rangeela’ Gharana (School). Owing to the death of his father while he was a child, the responsibility, for his upbringing fell upon his maternal grandfather who initiated him into the art and as he was staying at Agra, Faiyaz Khan got the training of both the Rangeela and the Agra Schools. He started giving public concerts at the age of 15 and soon got recognition as the most outstanding exponent of the Agra Gharana and even today fifteen years after his demise, he is remembered and revered for the brilliance of his performance.

He had a very massive voice, deep and robust, and his presentation was spell-binding. Although kheyals were his forte, he was equally impressive in the renderings of Dhrupad, Dhamar, Thumri and even lighter modes like Dadra and Sawaree. About the year 1915, the late Sayajeerao Gaikwad of Baroda appointed him a court musician in his Durbar and he held that position till his death in 1950. He was also awarded the title 'Aftah-e-Mauseeqi' by the Maharaja of Mysore for his meritorious performances.

On this disc is offered a selection from recordings made by him years ago. Listening to them even today is a thrilling experience, so divine, so sublime is the quality of their presentation.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Amanat & Fateh Ali Khan • Raag Darbari & Sakh - 1970

Amanat Ali Khan & Fateh Ali Khan 
• Raag Darbari & Sakh 
EMI Pakistan - ALPC 12 - P. 1970

Side A 

A1 Darbari 22’09

One of the most popular of our Raags Darbari was created by Naik Mian Tansen, one of the nine ‘gems’ of the great Moghal King, Akbar. It was the monarch himself, who in view of this Raag's stately form, inbuilt grandeur and majestic overtones gave it the name Darbari, literally meaning ‘of the court’ – that is a Raag fit for the Kings. This assessment of Darbari has not changed in the last four hundred and fifty years and it is still considered a Prince among the Raags. In fact no classical singer or instrumentalist can be considered to have finished his education without complete mastery over this important melodymode.

Amanat Ali Khan, Fateh Ali Khan's rendering of Darbari is in three phases. The opening slow movement is in Iktala a rhythm of 12 beats, the second in Teen Tal having 16 beats and the third even faster movement is a Tarana, also in Teen Tal.

Side B  

B1 Sakh 28’34

It is a seven note Raag of the family of Sakhs. The fourth and the seventh are flat and the rest of the notes are sharp. Structually and even emotionally it is close to Ragesri. The little changes of stress in the notes in the three composition bear testimony to their different origins. The spirit of the Raag. as indeed its treatment, gives the impression of peace, of quiet beauty and of subdued richness with the soft under current of gentle romance.

Sakh is sung for you in three movements. The first slow phase is in Iktala, the second faster movement is in Jhaptal – a rhythm of 10 beats - and the final movement, the Tarana is sung in Teen Tal.

The Sarangi accompaniment is provided by Ustad Hamid Husain
and the Tabla is played by Vajid Husain.

Here is a response to a very recent request. I was holding this back as I always think I could come up with some reason connecting one post with another but there is really no excuse not to post this. It was one of the records I brought with me to Peking in the seventies as a part of the life supporting music kit. Half of my suitcase contained music, free jazz, second vienna school, african field recordings and popular, arabic and indian classical and because of the times Peking opera was barely to be heard no recordings were available on kunqu opera so I brought a lot of that, and a lot of coffee and almost no clothes! This one got much playtime in my "student room turned musical café". Hope you enjoy. Truly music "of the court", the best thing with that is that in Luobaniya we can all be the pashas, the moghuls, the maharajas, the viziers, the caliphs, the nawab, the pradhans, diwans, and the sultans and the khans and... (did I forget someone?)... Anyhow true nobility exists only for those with ears to hear!

Amanat Ali Khan - b. 1932 — d. 1974

Fateh Ali Khan b. 1935

Amanat Ali Khan,  Fateh Ali Khan, receipients of Pakistan's highest music award, Pride of Performance (1969), are the grandsons of late Ustad Ali Bukhsh of Patiala.

Ustad Ali Buksh, in keeping with the ancient Dhurpud tradition, used to sing with his friend Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, father of late Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan of Patiala. He also had many memorable solo performances to his credit. So great was the fame of these two maestros, that to this day, nearly half a century later they are household names throughout the length and breadth of the sub-continent.

They had the good fortune of imbibing the knowledge from no less than four schools of Khayal singers. Their relentless devotion, combined with intrinsic talent and authentic musical education, flowered into a distinct form of Khayal singing, known as the Patiala Style.

The Patiala music is singularly rich in Khayal and Tarana compositions and has the freshness and vigour of the modern times along with the classical authenticity of the ancient Raags.

Today, Amanat Ali Khan and Fateh Ali Khan, sons of Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan, represent the best traditions of the Patiala Style of Khayal singing. In this album you will hear their versions of Raag Darbari and Raag Sakh.

quoted from the sleevenotes of Salim Gilani

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kesar Bai Kerkar - LP reissue of old plates - P.1963

Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar 
- Raga Lalat - Raga Malkauns
EMI India - EALP 1278 - P.1963 

A1 Ghatan Lagi Rain - Lalat - Teental 4'19
A2 Haan Re Daiya - Todi - Teental 3'23
A3 Devi Durge - Kukubh Bilawal - Jhaptal 4'33
A4 Mare Dere Aao - Desi - Teental 4'38
A5 Jaat Kahan Ho - Bhairavii - Deepchandi 3'31

B1 Preeetam Saiyan - Lalita Gouri - Teental 4'43
B2 Nevar Baju Re - Nat Kamod - Teental 4'22
B3 Maan Na Kari - Goud Malhar - Teental 4'23
B4 Main San Meet - Malkauns - Teental 4'10

There are so many wonderful artists I would have loved to post already and after the comment I made in previous post it sometimes feels as if they are all overdue. It will come as a surprise to no one that one of my first loves of Hindustani female vocal was Kesarbai introduced to me by a very good friend who passed on already long ago. I may have mentioned her already in one of my first posts. Yet, I have not had the decency to post anything by her so far. This record, or at least the music on it, may already be in possession by most of you, and so it should, but in case of an unfortunate possibility that it has still been missed by one or two, this shortcoming has now at long last been remedied.

This is one of the very first records I heard of any Hindustani vocal and that I have played the most in seventies.  Very soon, I also just have to fix the flagrant Paluskar deficiency we have been suffering from here.

Kesarbai Kerkar
(b Goa, 13 July 1892; d 1977).

North Indian vocalist. She was attracted to devotional music as a child and began her training at the age of seven with Abdul Karim Khan of the Kirana gharānā. She later studied with Barkatullah Khan, the court sitār player in Mysore and Patiala, and Bhaskar Rao Bakhle of the Agra gharānā, and, most significantly in terms of musical style, with Ustad Alladiya Khan (1920–46), who stipulated that she should always sing with him at concerts. She remained with him until his death in 1946, when her solo career began. She inherited the style of Alladiya Khan, including melismatic tān in performances of khayāl and a preference for improvisation in Tīntāl. She also sang thumrī.

Kesarbai in Concert
Padharinath Kale, harmonium, & her brother Pt. Yeshwantrao Kerkar, tabla

She was dubbed (Sur śrī) in 1938 by Rabindranath Tagore and was known thereafter as ‘Queen of Music’. In 1953 she received the President’s Award for Hindustani Vocal Music from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and in January 1969 she was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Padma Vibhushan Acharya Allauddin Khan • Sarod Recital

Padma Vibhushan Acharya Allauddin Khan
- Sarod Recital
Great Master Great Music - All India Radio Recordings
EMI India - ECSD 2757 - P.1976

Side A 

A1 Raga-Kaushi Bhairav Alap: Gat Vilambit and Drut-Tritaal 21'05

Side B 

B1 Raga-Hem Alap: Gat Drut-Tritaal 19'40

Some of the records I will post the following days are answers to several requests I have received from old friends and new. Some asking for flute and some for sarod and more sitar, and some being much more specific than that. Personally, like I have repeatedly said before I enjoy vocal music much more than instrumental but that does not mean I don't listen to any instrumental. I certainly do, and although neither sarod nor flute are any of my favourite instruments (these days more so because of my increasing tinnitus) I can anyhow sometimes find great enjoyment in both of them. 

I do however prefer reeds over flutes and bowed over plucked strings, especially when they are exploring the lower registers. It is maybe already evident from my previous posts of Bismillah Khan and Ram Narayan. And when it comes to plucked strings, Surbahar and Rudra Vina takes precedence over any sarod or sitar. All that said I still think this post is long overdue. Mainly because of the increadible influence on most of the North Indian classical music that the western audiences first came into contact with. Here is an old recording with an even older Allauddin Khan. At ninety years of age he was no longer in his prime but the recording is nevertheless most interesting, especially considering the scarcity of longer recordings with him. This is also a call to anyone that has any of the older recordings by him, when he was still at his peak, to come forward and share them. There are many who would eagerly like to wrap their ears around any such sounds. Anyhow here is another recording of the few that was released from the many treasures of the All India Radio Archives.

Allauddin Khan, also known as Baba Allauddin Khan (ca. 1881 – 6 September 1972), was a Bengali sarodiya and multi-instrumentalist, composer and one of the most renowned music teachers of the 20th Century in Indian classical music.

In 1935, he toured Europe, along with Uday Shankar's ballet troupe, and later also worked at his institute, 'Uday Shankar India Culture Centre' at Almora for a while. During his lifetime, he composed several ragas and laid the foundation of a modern Maihar gharana. Amongst his recording which are rare, the most important ones are those he recorded with the All India Radio in 1959-60.

He was the father of sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi, and the uncle of Raja Hossain Khan, as well as the guru of Ravi Shankar, Nikhil Banerjee, Vasant Rai, Pannalal Ghosh, Bahadur Khan, Sharan Rani and other influential musicians. He himself was a disciple of many great musicians, including Gopal Chandra Banerjee, Lobo, Munne Khan, and most importantly after a lot of struggle managed to become a shagird of the legendary Veena player, Wazir Khan of Rampur.

(snipped from wikipedia here)

Pt. Kanthe Maharaj-ji, U. Ali Akbar Khan, U. Allauddin Khan, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee and Pt. Kaviraj Ashutosh Bhattacharya, with a young Aashish Khan on tamboura - Kolkata 1952

It is my proud privilege to introduce to the young generation my guru, guide and father Padma Vibhushan Acharya Allauddin Khan.

This disc has been prepared from the Acharya's tapes obtained from All India Radio. Originally this music was recorded when he was in his nineties. This Long Play record is brought out by HMV so that it may be preserved as a cherishable memento of musical history rather than as a specimen of his great art. To this musical history the Acharya contributed so much, for the benefit of so many.

Comment on the record by 
Ali Akbar Khan

Acharya Allauddin Khan. 

One more vital link with our musical past snapped with the passing away of Acharya Allauddin Khan in 1972 Indeed, it marked the end of a great era - the era of giants in music. The centenarian Acharya was much more than a maestro, he was a phenomenon that just came off. His contribution to the enrichment of our musical heritage remains sui generis. He was steeped in the tradition of old masters. But his vast vision, his deep respect for western masters and his catholic understanding of their classical traditions lent a halo of universality to his art. In this sense, he was a reformist among conservatists and a conservatist among reformists.

The early decades of this century witnessed a near revolution in the time-honoured concept of instrumentation. And Acharya Allauddin Khan was the visionary who pioneered it. His fusion of gayaki, layakari and tantrakari, which enjoys such a tremendous vogue today, was no departure from the fundamentals of our tradition, but a unique combination of contemporary modes of instrumental expression without bias to any particular technique. This synthesis of tradition and experiment, of past achievements and future possibilities, lent a new dimension to North Indian instrumental music. The vitality of the stylisation, as also the versatility of its creator, is borne out by the fact that four of our greatest virtuosi are his disciples: his son Ali Akbar Khan, the inimitable sarodist, his daughter Annapoorna Devi, the undisputed Surbahar and sitar player, his son-in-law Ravi Shankar, the peerless sitarist, Timir Baran Bhattacharya and the incomparable flutist Pannalal Ghosh Adding to this impressive roll of honour are the Acharya's grandsons Ashish Khan, Dhynesh Khan, and a host of others.

Allauddin Khan's artistic intuition found its eloquent expression in many ways. The sarod was his first love — and last. But his virtuosity over a number of other instruments — string, wind, bow and percussion varieties — was truly astounding. The impressive line-up of ragas he created, such as Kaushi Bhairav, Hemant, Prabhakali, Hem Bihag and a host of others and also many talas, are his precious contribution to North Indian music. As a performing artiste, Acharya Allauddin Khan presented all that was best from the vast and varied Hindustani repertory and something more: the mystical element in music which in turn created a mood of spiritual awareness in the listener. This quality of detached intensity was probably inherent in the genius of the Acharys who, while yet a boy of eight, ran away from home to seek musical faith more than musical career. The saga of the sacrifices he made in the pursuit of his muse has few parallels in the world's musical history.

Born in 1862 in the village Shibpur (Tripura), now in Bangladesh, Allauddin Khan inherited his passion for music from his father, Sadhu Khan. After weeks of wandering in Dacca and Nawagram and days of starvation in Calcutta, the youngster at last found a great and magnanimous guru, the well-known musician Nanu Gopal, who promised to train him in vocal music. Pandit Nandlal, another guru, agreed to teach him tabla and mridang.

He devoted the next seven years of his life to vigorous and constant practice of vocal music. On the death of Nanu Gopal, Allauddin Khan decided to devote himself in future only to instrumental music. He joined the band of Habu Dutt, the well-known brother of Swami Vivekanand and learnt various instruments from him. Allauddin Khan's teacher in violin was Mr. Lobo, the conductor of the famous band at Eden Garden at Calcutta.

After three years of strenuous work, Allauddin Khan met Ustad Ahmed Ali, the famous sarod player, who accepted him as his pupil. After some years he left Ahmed Ali and went to the then Nawab of Rampur, a great patron of music. A descendant of Mian Tansen, Ustad Mohammed Wazir Khan Seniya. who was an eminent veena maestro in the court of Rampur. gave intensive training to Allauddin Khan to enable him to become an accomplished artiste. Allauddin Khan spent about thirty years of his life for this rigorous training. When he appeared at the concert platform, he was hailed as an outstanding sarodist throughout the country.

Allauddin Khan in 1929.

Allauddin Khan had formed the Maihar State Band, In later years he become the court musician of the State of Maihar. In 1935, he went on a concert tour to Europe with Uday Shankar's ballet troupe. He toured throughout the world and thrilled his audiences, for many years he continued to teach the poor musicians at Maihar and Allahabad and carried on his pioneering work in orchestration of Indian music.

A saintly personality, Acharya Allauddin Khan had dedicated himself and his music to Sharda Ma and was a strict vegetarian and disciplinarian. He regularly said his "namaz" or prayers five times every day. He was the first recipient of the President's Award in 1952 and Padma Bhushan in 1958, Desikottama from Vishwa Bharati in 1961 and Padma Vibhushan in 1971. But he remained essentially a lone artiste, unspoilt by name and fame, always immersed in the holiness of his art.
from the sleevenotes 

Still more to read here

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