Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hugh Tracey - Musical Instruments - 7 - Guitars 2

Hugh Tracey - The Music of Africa Series
- Musical Instruments 7 - Guitars 2
Kaleidophone - KMA 7 - P.1972

Side A

A1 Manwani kufiki wanda - Ilunga Patrice & Misobma Victor (Luba-Hemba, Kolwezi, Katanga, Congo) 2'44
A2 Kanelo - Ilunga Patrice & Misobma Victor (Luba-Hemba, Kolwezi, Katanga, Congo) 3'02
A3 Guabi, guabi - George Sibanda (Ndebele, Bulawayo, Rhodesia 2'48
A4 Kissicha moto-moto - J.P. Oden (Swahili, Kidumu, Kenya) 2'31
A5 Maza kilio-e  - Jean Bosco Mwenda (Swahili, Jadotville, Katanga, Congo) 2'53
A6 Shia bantwana aosela lagavia - Nomuswiti Citaumvano and Uvakutsiwo (Xhosho-Mpondo, Lusikisiki, Pondoland, Cap, South Africa) 2'56

Side B

B1 Masenga wa Bena Nomba - Ngoi Nono, Kabonga Anastase and friends (Luba-Songe, Kabongo, Katanga, Congo) 4'31
B2 Katikalepake, katikatobeke (About to snap, about to break) - Isac Matafwana and Sunkutu (Bemba, Mufulka, Zambia) 3'01
B3 Mpenzi wangu umepotea mjini - Lang Obierto and a group of Luo men (Luo, Yala in Gem, near Kisumu, Kenya) 2'54
B4 Safari ya baraka - Ombiza Charles with his wife (Swahili-Ngwana, Kisangani, Congo) 2'55
B5 Masenga - Ilunga Patrice & Misomba Victor and friends (Luba-Hemba, Kolwezi, Katanga, Congo) 2'53
B6 Nahawandi (Udi solo) - Bom Ambaron (Swahili-Nguja, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania) 2'47

Here is Guitar 2, to my knowledge the last of the Hugh Tracey series on Kaleidophone. I like these two volumes (the previous post and this one) very very much and they have gotten a lot of playtime over the years. To me much of this music seems very sweet and innocent and always puts me in a good mood. This is music for close by friends, played in a world where people are not full of pretence or deceitfulness. A lot of idealistic nonsense you say! Self deception! So what, I rather deceive myself that have other people doing it for me! Anyhow I will be posting many more records of African music, mostly field recordings and not always this sweet. Again, I hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hugh Tracey - Musical Instruments - 6 - Guitars 1

Hugh Tracy - The Music of Africa Series
Musical Instruments 6 - Guitars 1
Kaleidophone - KMA 6 - P.1972

Side A

A1 Masanga - Jean Bosco Mwenda (Luba-Sanga, Jadotville, Katanga, Congo) 3'01
A2 Mama na mwana (Mother and child) - Jean Bosco Mwenda (Ngala, Jadotville, Katanga, Congo) 3'00
A3 Ayu welele wa Mhalaka (Alas for a bachelor) - Ngoi Noao, Kabongo Anastase, and friends (Luba-Songe, Kabongo, Katanga, Congo) 3'04
A4 Mama Josefina - Ilunga Patrice & Misomba Victor (Luba-Hemba, Kabinda, Kasai, Congo) 2'48
A5 Antoinette wa Kolwezi - Ilunga Patrice & Misoma Victor (Luba-Hemba, Kolwezi Copper Mine, Katanga, Congo) 3'07
A6 Muleka mwene ngole - Kaseba Anatole (Luba-Shankadi, Kolwezi Copper Mine, Katanga, Congo) 3'04

Side B

B1 Muleka Mwene Yombwe - Ngoi Nono, Kabongo Anastase, and friends (Luba-Songe, Kabongo, Katanga, Congo) 4'00
B2 Nyon anyona (Walk proudly) - Lang Obiero and Luo men (Luo, Yala in Gem, near Kisumu, Kenya) 3'03
B3 Pini ochama (I was without hope) - Lang Obiero and Luo men (Luo, Yala in Gem, near Kisumu, Kenya) 2'43
B4 Anagikafu ragitake - Deab Rizgala (Nubi, Mbale, Uganda) 2'38
B5 A Desayo - Morris Kalala and an Ngala girl (Ngala, Kinshasa Congo) 2'50
B6 Iuwale-o-Iuwale (Start, o start the song) - Mbasela Kunda & William Munyanda (Lala, Setenje, Zambia) 2'43

I promised this one long ago and finally I took some new better photos and made a new rip to go along with it. Gutar 2 will follow shortly Hope you enjoy.

Guitars 1

It is not certain when guitars were first imported into Central, Eastern, a Southern Africa. They are likely to have been introduced along the seaboard by Portuguese sailors and traders during the seventeenth century, and still earlier by Arabs down the east coast - where the typically Arabian instrument, the Ud (or lute) is still played today by those who claim part-Arab ancestry. The popularity of the guitar among African players became established with the development of industries and the consequent movement of large numbers of people into urban surroundings, away from the normal sources of supply for traditional instruments.

By 1950 the use of a guitar had become the hallmark of ‘town’ music, as opposed to the more familiar forms of country music; the songs for the most part being distant imitations of foreign material set to vernacular wads.

The ability of African musicians to master the instrument varies considerably in different parts of the continent. The majority of players in the south use only the thrumming styles, limited almost exclusively to a ground bass of the three common chords; while players in the Congo and in parts of East Africa have developed the more distinctive styles of contrapuntal playing. Most African players make constant use of a capotasto on the second, third, or fourth fret in order to avoid the greater fingering distances of the open strings.

The proliferation of factories producing simple and inexpensive guitars for the African market has brought the instrument into prominence during the last decade but has added little to innate musicality or to the craft of indigenous instrument making; the skill of the guitar players featured in this record is the exception rather than the rule.
from the original liner notes on the back sleeve by Hugh Tracey

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Omkarnath Thakur - Raga Lalit - In Concert

Omkarnath Thakur 
• Raga Lalit - In Concert
Music India - 2393950 - P.1983

Side A

A1 Raga Lalit - Raien Ka Sapna - Badha Khyal in Vilambit Ektaal

Panditji starts the Vilambit Khayal ‘Raien Ka Sapna’, unfolds the raga by aakapchari in the Poorvang and goes on to complete the Antra.

Side B

B1 Raga Lalit - Raien Ka Sapna - Badha Khyal in Vilambit Ektaal
B2 Raga Lalit - Piyu Piyu Ratat Papihara - Chhota Khyal in Teentaal

Panditji continues the Vilambit Khayal with the Upaj-ang and goes on to make varied Taan patterns. He concludes his exposition with the Chhota Khayal ‘Piyu Piyu Rotat Papihara’ where he shows the varied aspects of Shuddha Madhyam - the main Nyas-swara of Lalit.

Pandit Omkarnath Thakur  (1897 - 1967)

17 years ago, a musical giant left for the heavenly abode leaving behind a rich treasure of his work and research in the field of Hindustani Classical Music. ‘Sangeet Martand’, ‘Padmashree’, late Pandit Omkarnath Thakur occupies a position of rare eminence amongst the classical musicians of India.

His years of research on Maharishi Bharat's ‘Nat ya-Shastra’ along with a thorough study of varied systems prevalent in the North Indian as well as Carnatic music, led him to propound thought provoking theories and write volumes of authoritative books on the subject. A worthy disciple of a great scholar-musician Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Omkarnathji made it his life's mission to propagate India's musical heritage amongst the classes and the masses alike.

Panditji was a musician with a difference. A strict disciplinarian, Panditji was known as much for his arrogance as for his musical genius. Keeping in tradition with the norms of the majestic gayaki of the Gwalior Gharana, Panditji evolved a style uniquely his own. His Regal Persona, his marvellous command over Sanskrit and Urdu alike, his thorough insight into every raga-exposition and his unique ability to communicate with his audience through his emotionally packed renditions left the listeners spellbound. His concerts were invariably reflective of his interpretation of the ‘Nav-Rasa’. In fact, he would often demonstrate different Rasas in the cheez (song) by singing one phrase in several other ways.

Not many of Panditji's works are available to the musical ear anymore. Music India has excavated a rare recording to share with aficionados of classical music. On the occasion of his 17th death anniversary, we pay our humble tribute to Panditji and take immense pride in releasing on this record his full rendition of Raga Lalit sung sometime during the early sixties. Opportunities to hear rare recordings of this nature are few to come by.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Narendra Bataju • Sitar and Surbahar 1980

Les Sitar et Surbahar de Narandra Bataju
Disques Espérance - ESP 165532 - P.1980

Side A

A1 Raga Bhairagi Bhairau Alâp 18'50
A2 Composition - Chautâla 5'40

Side B

B1 Râga Madhuvanti - Alâp Suivi De 2 Gat Tintâlâ 26'43

Narendra Bataju, born in Katmandu, Nepal 1944

Narendra Bataju is a Surbahar and Sitar player from Nepal now living in Paris. Ravi Shankar was so impressed by his "natural talent, his sense of musical emotion and virtuosity as a sitar player" that he took him as a disciple.

Born in Kathmandu in 1944, and blind from birth, Narendra Bataju early interest in music strated from when he was about eight years. He began learning the sitar with a Master in Kathmandu where he was born. At ten, he sought to improve his knowledge at the Conservatory of Music Lucnow (India), where he studied with the masters Narayan Prassad Shrestra, Yussef Ali Khan and Khan Illias. Ten years later he leaves with a degree in Master and with his first Grand Prix and in 1964 the city of Delhi awarded him a second one.

He then taught his art at a college in Kathmandu, and gave regular concerts for the Nepalese royal family, as well as public concerts and radio broadcast. It was then that he also began teaching classes for many European and American students. In 1972, he decided to come to Europe to teach and moved to Paris where he has been since then, continuing to teach sitar and singing and giving performances throughout Europe. He has also made several records and CDs with his ensemble.
Edited from his website here

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pandit Omkarnath Thakur • Todi, Malkauns from 78 rpm plates

Pandit Omkarnath Thakur 
• Raga Todi — Raga Malkauns. 
EMI Columbia - 33ECX 3252 - P.1964

Side A

Raga Todi

A1a Kadam Ki Chhaya -pt 1 - (Desi Todi)
A1b Kadam Ki Chhaya -pt 2 - (Desi Todi)
A2a Garwa Mai Sang -pt 1 - (Todi)
A2b Garwa Mai Sang -pt 2 - (Todi)
A3 Mitwa Balamua Ja (Nilambari)
A4 Mai Kanth Mora - (Sughrai)

Side B

Raga Malkauns

B1a Pir na jani -pt 1 - (Malkauns-Vilampat)
B1b Pir na jani -pt 2 - (Malkauns-Vilampat)
B2a Pag Ghungru Baandh -pt 1 - (Malkauns)
B2b Pag Ghungru Baandh -pt 2 - (Malkauns)

Here is another great album with early 78 rpm "plates" of Omkarnath Thakur. This was first released in 1934-35 (Todi, Nilambari, Sughrai), 1940-41 (Todi) and 1948 (Malkauns) and reissued on this LP in 1964. I hope you enjoy! More to read in my previous post. There is no information except for the tracklist on the backside of the sleeve.

Omkarnath Thakur  (1897 - 1967) 

Pandit Omkarnath Thakur was a maestro whose music baffled hardboiled listeners even while he held his lay audiences spell-bound. I have nostalgic memories of his monumental voice, with its amazingly wide tonal range, depth and volume, all of which seemed to blend perfectly with the dignity of his bearing. With four tanpuras to back him and two accompanists to lend him sangat, one would be tempted to liken the ensemble to the saptarishi constellation.

A large segment of cognoscenti found something elusive about Panditji's music. He was a gate crasher to some, and a romanticist to others. Still others thought him to be an iconoclast, or an avant grade vocalist. The fact is that he was all these put together, and that is what compelled attention from his admirers as well as critics.
Private collection of Mohan D. Nadkarni/Kamat's Potpourri
Omkarnath Thakur in concert
Notice the absence of harmonium and the august presence of Sarangi

Panditji himself, steeped in the old shastras, vehemently claimed that he was orthodox in his vocalism. Even while he firmly believed in the miracles and mysteries of music, he chose to evolve a style of his own which embodied even flourishes like shakes and tremolos features of western music. His use of his devices, he asserted had the full sanction of the Indian tradition. To prove his point, he would proceed to quote chapter and verse from the shastras right in the midst of his performance!

Memories of my meetings with him, first in 1948 and then a decade later, come crowding to my mind as I write these lines. He advocated two contrary approaches to raga music during these meeting. Baffled by his advocacy of both the concepts at the two encounters with him, I cautiously requested him to dispel my gnawing doubts. The maestro was visibly rattled and shouted at me to go away, branding the whole fraternity of newspaper men (including, of course, music critics) as “nindaks” (detractors). Yet, while he shunned publicity, he maintained a love-hate relationship with the press.

Pandit Omkarnathji's rise to fame was dramatic. His forbears were military men, but he was born in penury in far-off Gujarat village and orphaned at 14. He earned his living first as a cook and then as a mill-worker. The vicissitudes of life hardly dampened his energy, and his burning passion for music asserted itself in many ways. He tried to learn music from people as diverse as street-singers and temple musicians, till a wealthy, music-loving Parsi gentleman, Seth Doongajee, discerned his musicianly potential and placed him under the tutelege of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar.

It is difficult to say who among the old maestros besides Pandit Paluskar himself - influenced his music most. In reply to my question, he told me that he was initially influenced by two "eccentric musicians"-- Karim Baksh, a musician from Kashmir, and Rehmat Khan, a luminary of his own Gwalior gharana. But Panditji acknowledged Vishnu Digambar as his foremost guru.

Both at home and abroad, public recognition came naturally to him in profusion before and after independence. He was possibly the only Indian musician who had gone to the west as far back as the early thirties, and won plaudits in international soirees in several world capitals. Believe it or not, he had announced his retirement from active musical life more than once and, that too, for political reasons! During the freedom struggle, his “Vande Mataram” was integral part of the annual sessions of the Indian National Congress. In this, he followed in the wake of his mentor.

Panditji reportedly trained a large number of students in vocal music, besides writing authoritative books on musicology and aesthetics. It would seem that he did not care to groom shishyas worthy of him. The only exception is that of the South Indian exponent of Hindustani music, violinist N. Rajam, whom he groomed as a ganda-bandh shagird.

by Mohan Nadkarni
First Published in: The Times of India, 

Bombay Edition, on December 27, 1992

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Omkarnath Thakur • Desi-Todi, Bhajans - 1971

Pandit Omkarnath Thakur
• Sangeet Martand, Desi-Todi, Bhajans
EMI Columbia - 33 ECX.3301 - P.1971

Side A

A1 Mare Dere Ajo - Desi Todi 17'24.aif

Side B

B1 Main Nahin Makhan Khajo - Bhajan (Surdas)  20'48

Here is a very good record by a remarkable artist who I appreciate very much. I have only a few more records by him that I will post shortly. Look out in the following days for at least two more recordings with him! Hope you enjoy

Omkarnath Thakur (1897–1967) 

Omkarnath Thakur was an Indian educator, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. He is famously known as "Pranav Rang", his pen-name.
Thakur was born 1897 in a village in the Princely State of Baroda into a poor military family. The family moved to Bharuch in 1900 and in circa 1909 Thakur and his younger brother began to train in Hindustani classical music in the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, a music school, under classical singer Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Thakur and his brother were sponsored by a wealthy Parsi and Thakur became an accomplished singer in the style of the Gwalior gharana.

Thakur was made the principal of a Lahore music school of Paluskar's Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in 1916, became acquainted with the Patiala gharana, and started his own music school in 1919. During the 1920s Thakur worked for the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi on a local level and in the 1933 became one of the first Indian musicians to perform in Europe, which included a private concert for Benito Mussolini. Thakur's wife Indira Devi died the same year and he began to concentrate exclusively on music.
Thakur's work as a performer and musicologist led to the creation of a music college at Banaras Hindu University that emphasized both and he wrote books on Indian classical music and its history. Thakur's work is criticized in contemporary music literature as ignorant of the contribution of Muslim musicians, which he blamed for deteriorating classical music. Thakur performed in Europe until 1954 and received the Padma Shri in 1955 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1963. He retired in 1963 and was awarded honorary doctorates from Banaras Hindu University in 1963 and Rabindra Bharati University in 1964.

snipped from the Wikipedia here

It is now four years since the sweet roar of the giant amongst vocalists of Indian classical music was stilled forever. Those who had the good fortune to listen to him in person will forever remember his Regal Personality and his inimitable style. Disciple of Late Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, his profound knowledge and scholarship won him high praise and tributes not only in India but even in foreign countries. He, like his great Guru, catered classical music to masses. While performing, he poured his very personality in his exposition, thereby transferring his emotionally packed rendering on to the listeners, and holding them spellbound in a celestial trance. Lovers and followers of his music are spread far and wide. On this disc is presented a very rare and scintillating performance of the great maestro.

In bringing out this number on the solemn occasion of his 4th death anniversary, we pay our humble homage to his great memory and hope connoisseurs will listen to the performance with nostalgia.

Side I - Desi—Todi

This is a morning melody and it has a mood of fervent appeal. The burden of the composition 'Mare Dere Aao' - 'Please, come to my abode' — an invocation by a beloved to her lover-sets the artiste in the proper frame of mind-of entreaty-appeal — and he goes on weaving the melody into diverse and attractive musical patterns. While doing so he scrupulously conforms to the traditional norms of exposition of a Raga. The rhythm employed is Ek Taal - consisting of 12 beats.

Side II - Main Nahin Makhan Khayo

This is the Piece De Resistance. It narrates a story — an episode in the colourful life of Lord Krishna in his childhood. He is accused by the milkmaids of Brindaban of stealing their butter. Caught red handed, his chubby face smeared with the loot, the culprit boy is taken to his mother by the offended milkmaids. A court of enquiry is held. The presiding judge is Yashoda — the divine mother of Shrikrishna — the accused.

The dramatic trial opens — with the denial of the charge by the accused ‘Maiyya-Main Nahin Makhan Khayo’— He did not have any legal luminary to represent him — so he decides to defend himself. His defence is presented on this skie in a musical form by the maestro in such a convincing manner that, towards the close, Shri Krishna is acquitted honourably and absolved of all the charges levelled against him.

This entire drama is musically enacted by the maestro with a virtuosity which he alone was capable of.

Repertoire By Courtesy: Vijay V Porecha.
quoted from the backside of the record sleeve

Here is a little more to read

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Gamelan Orchestra from Pliatan Bali - live at The Wintergarden Theatre in London 1952

The Gamelan Orchestra - Music from Bali 
Record Two
Argo Records - ARS 1007 - P.1952
- (XB 100-3, 4)

Gamelan orchestra from Pliatan, Indonesia led by Anak Agung Gde Mandera recorded live at Wintergarden Theatre, London 1952

This LP was also released as: [Westminster XWN 2210? - P.1957] = Argo Records - RG-2 - P.1952

Side A

2-A1 Kebiar 8'49
2-A2 Oleg 8'44
2-A3 Barong 5'32

Side B

2-B1 Djanger, Ende, Baris 18'25

This is the cover of Record One that is already here in a previous post and to be quite frank I never expected to find Record Two, but here it is! It did however cost me a pretty penny and lot of determination to be able to share it with you and present it here. It makes me very happy and I hope you can share my joy! This copy is in wonderful condition and the photography of the sleeve is a joy to behold. There is not much to add to this post as almost all I know about it is already in the previous post!

Music From Bali - Record Two

It is a commonplace of musical history that Claude Debussy was considerably influenced by the Gamelan which appeared at the Exposition Universelle in Paris during 1889. But, with the exception of a number of Dutch musicologists — notably Dr. Jaap Kunst—few Western music lovers have any knowledge of Balinese music and the opportunities of hearing it-such records that do exist being almost unknown in Great Britain and the U.S.—have been few. Indeed, so far as London and New York are concerned, the recent appearance of the Gamelan from Pliatan, Indonesia, under its brilliant director, Anak Agung Gde Mandera, is the first opportunity the music lover has had of assessing this fascinating and highly organised musical art. Unlike much Eastern music, Western ears have no difficulty in appreciating the music of Bali, and it is certain that with the issue of these, the first long playing records, made in collaboration with the Indonesian Government, many will wish to become more closely acquainted with what, is, quite clearly, a folk art in the highest stage of development, In the opinion of those but qualified to judge these records present an adequate survey of Balinese music as it is today and can safely be said to serve as a comprehensive introduction to this neglected-so far as Western ears are concerned-branch of music.

Kebiar. This dance, created during the early thirties by a famous dancer from South Bali, inspired Anak Mandera to compose what many consider to be one of the most beautiful pieces co contemporary Balinese music. Following a bold statement of the principal motif a gentle swaying accompaniment is heard underlined, as it were, by the lower gong. Working gradually towards a climax the main theme is restated in augmentation while the accompaniment becomes more excited breaking into an ostinato figure accentuated by syncopated chords on the barong. This fine example of the Kebiar was awarded the all-Bali prize in 1938.

Oleg. As in the preceding work this music accompanies a modern dance, in this instance one from North Bali. It consists of a simple melody reiterated on the Hatong or Balinese flute accompanied by a variety of complex rhythmic patterns played on the various sections of the Gamelan with a bewildering subtlety of tone colour that is an outstanding feature of this branch of Indonesian music.

Barong. Is one of the many primitive dance-plays that are highly thought of by the Balinese. Barong is a mythical animal, a fantastic lion, who protects the Balinese against evil. He fights against Rangda. Queen of the Witches, symbol of darkness. Illness and death. The music consists, in the main, of a constantly repeated figure against which the roan of the lion are heard. At the death of Rangda the gamelan bursts into a jubilant statement of the main theme bringing the work to a close on a note of triumph.

Djanger, Ende, Saris. The first of these three dances. Djanger, is a simple folk tune sung in unison by boys and girls. It is a typical example of its kind. The second, Ende, is a fighting dance. A sham duel is fought out to the stimulation of a small gamelan consisting of kendang, small gong, and tarompet. The fighters are dressed in grotesque costumes and armed with roatan sticks. Although intended as a friendly sport there have been instances of the fighters continuing to the death. The third, Baris, is a short dance-play, in which Ardjuna, the hero of the Mahabhara epic is disturbed, while fasting, by heavenly nymphs, sent by the Gods to test him to see whether he is strong enough to become their champion against the Demon King. Alarmed, the Demon King sends a wild boar against Ardjuna who kills it. His claim is disputed by the God Shin. To settle this dispute Ardjuna fights Shiva in his human form and on winning the contest is proclaimed by the Gods.

Cyril Clarke.
quoted from the record sleeve

Technical Credits. Recorded during actual performance at the Winter Garden Theatre in association with Mr. Derrick de Marney  for and on behalf of The Indonesian Government. The original magnetic tape recording and transfer of the record to disc masters was mad. by Alec Herbage, Harley Usill and Cyril Clarke. The sleeve and label was designed by Victor Ross. Photographs by Dennis de Marney.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Latafat Hussain Khan • Miyan ki Todi, Gara Kanada

Latafat Hussain Khan 
• Miyan ki Todi, Gara Kanada
Polydor - 2392 016 - P.1972 • Music India - 2393 923 -  P.1983

Side A

A1 Miyan ki Todi (19.00)

Side B

B1 Gara Kanada (19.16)

Sultan Khan, sarangi
Mohammed Ahmed, tabla
Zakir Hussain Khan, harmonium

Latafat Hussain Khan (12 Dec 1920- 11 Dec 1986)

Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan belonged to the tradition of Khandani musicians, who held aloft and carried forward the torch of musical learning and excellence. Both as a performer and as teacher he had the unmistakable mark of a gharanadar musician. Deeply religious, self effacing and unassuming by nature, he was always willing to give - qualities that were very clearly reflected in his music and in his approach to the performance and teaching of music.

Born on December 12, 1920, Latafat Hussain Khan was the youngest son of Altaf Hussain Khan of the Agra gharana.

He was initiated into the rigours of music by Tasadduq Hussain Khan. Then followed an extended training period under his eldest brother Ustad Khadim Hussain Khan in Bombay. Sometime in the early forties, he went to Baroda to stay with his uncle, Ustad Faiyyaz Khan and receive rigorous taleem. He also took advanced taleem from his gharana elder, Vilayet Hussain Khan.

Latafat was musically a successor to Ustad Faiyyaz Khan. He was particularly known for his powerful voice, his crisp nom-tom alaps, and his effervescent delivery. With his masculine voice, dhrupad based alap, he was in the mainstream of the Agra gharana. In voice production, he was close to Ustad Faiyyaz Khan — a deep penetrating voice with tremendous control on swar and shrutis, a voice that delibera" tely created broken nuances while singing the "rangila phrases made famous by his ustad. His alap was rich and his raga portrayal was sublime. Latafat Khan composed hundreds of bandishes under the pen name of "Premdas".

Like most exponents of the Agra style, Latafat Khan was a scholar musician, ever true to the ancient tenets of classicism and very concerned with what was "correct" and "pure" and very disdainful of compromises made all too often by younger musicians who sometimes sacrificed authenticity for easy popularity. At the same time, like many others of his famed gharana, he gave great importance to the entertainment value of classical music. This was achieved by the judicious use of "layakari", the choice of colourful bandishes and the clever utilization of tans.

Latafat Khan was honoured by Sur Singar Samsad in Bombay and was also the recipient of a host of other awards. In 1978, Latafat Khan joined the Sangeet Research Academy of the I. T. C. at Calcutta as a Guru and trained several pupils. Even though his health was giving him trouble and his voice was losing its grit and quality possibly due to his asthmatic trouble, he was a greatly revered and respected musician. Those who came into contact with him will never forget the warmth of his nature. ITC Sangeet Research Academy raised Latafat Hussain to the national level again through concert appearances in all parts of India.

Latafat Hussain died in Kolkata on December 11, 1986.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Music of Afghanistan - rec. 1960

The Music of Afghanistan
A Musical Anthology of the Orient - Unesco Collection 3
Bärenreiter • Musicaphon - BM 30 L 2003 - (rec. 1960 - P.1960?)

Side A

A01 Song Of Kataran 4'53
A02 Song Of Badarshan (Turkestan) 3'09
A03 Melody For Flute From Turkestan 2'44
A04 Festive Music From Chardi (Region Kabul) 3'58
A05 Chant From Azarejot (Central Afghanistan) 5'46
A06 National Afghan Dance (Shah Mast) 2'05
A07 Chant From Farkhar 4'55

Side B

B08 Village Dance Melody (Region Kabul) 2'05
B09 Pushtu Quatrain (Charbait) 4'22
B10 Ancient Chant Of Kabul 3'26
B11 Ancient Chant Of Khodaman 2'44
B12 Tumbur - Lute - Solo 3'50
B13 Ghazni (Chant) 2'15
B14 Chorus From The Panshir 3'18
B15 Solo Of Sarinda 3'02
B16 The Dotar (Small Lute) Of Herat 3'20

I will slowly start making more non Indian posts but I will not be leaving it, it has too strong a pull on me. And it seems so, that even though I have so much more Asian, African, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and even European music that I want to share with you, I find it very very hard to completely leave India.

I may also slow down a little here as I am getting too many things pulling me away from this blog and as they are also intellectually stimulating and rewarding it means that they are also time consuming so I will have to spread my graces a little,. Well so it seems at the moment anyhow.

Ideally I think one post a day is very nice, but believe me when I say that it takes a little more time than one would expect! I'll try to keep up at least a couple of posts a week but it may prove impossible to do one every day. Anyhow if there are a couple of days with no post it does not mean that the blog is dead or that I am in any immediate danger of popping a vein or so. It is just normal because sometimes, other calendars interfere, (usually someone else's time), with the Luobaniyan calender, disabling me from my natural way of time reckoning. I hope you understand and have pity on the frailty of the human, and his circumstances. A reality also Luobaniyans live under although we are working in every possible passive, non-agressive way to eliminate it! This is certainly no farewell but I bid you a nice and sweet summer!

There will be rather more Afghanistan posts to follow this one before we start roaming the geography in all directions again. I have so many unpublished posts I almost don't know where to continue. I also have a very good surprise coming in some days as I finally got hold of a very rare and precious record recently. I have mentioned it here before and I have posted the first volume already but I am sure some of you will be more than pleased. It did cost me a lot of effort and a pretty penny on top of that, but I think it was worth it. You'll see and hear for yourself when the time is ripe!

Anyhow, here is another of those great Bärenreiters! The good news on those is that I now have all of them, except for the Pakistani. But, either you help me with a copy, or I'll find one myself!
In due cause I am sure that eventually we will have them all here!

Recording No. 2 ill. Song of Badarshan

Mohammad Naïm, ritchak Abdul Masjid, dhol
Recording No. 3 ill. Melody for flute from Turkestan

Ghulam Haïdar (Tula)
Recording No. 4 ill. Festive Music from Chardi 

Gholam Dastagir, Majeti, dhol Rahmat Khan, Mohammad Hasan, sornai

Recording No. 7 

ill. Chant from Farkhar
Niaz Mohammad, tumbur

Recording No. 10 ill. Ancient chant of Kabul
Fayaz Mohammed, dhol Beltun, tambur Tawakhal-Shah, rabab

Recording No. 12 ill. Tumbur-solo 
Hakim Mazori, tumbur Abdul Udud, zer-barhali

Recording No. 13 ill. Ghazni chant
Mohshin, sarinda Sher Mohammad Ghaznavi, tumbur
Rasuddin, dhol Ustad Mohamed Omar, rabab