Thursday, 16 November 2017

Imrat Khan - Surbahar & Sitar - Music from India Series 10 - LP published in Great Britain in 1969

Here another LP from the Music from India Series, in which between 1965 and 1969 a number of beautiful recordings were released, which were at the time amongst the most easily available recordings of classical Indian music in Europe. Earlier EMI - His Master's Voice had already released a number of other LPs. We had posted recently two by Vilayat Khan from 1962 and 1963.
See here a complete discography of the Indian releases in the British ASD series:
This our 7th LP by Imrat Khan.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Vilayat Khan - The Genius of Vilayat Khan - LP published in India in 1962

Here our last LP - for now - by the great Vilayat Khan. The two Ragas are from the same recording sessions as the ones on the LP with Tilak Kamod and Bhairavi which was released in 1961. In effect it seems that there were two recording sessions, one with Mohammad Ahmad on Tabla and the other with Santa Prasad on Tabla. The Ahir Bhairav here and the Tilak Kamod on the LP from 1961 are with Mohammad Ahmad and the Khamaj on our LP here and the Bhairavi on the LP from 1961 are with Santa Prasad.

These two LPs are amongst the very first LPs of classical Indian music published by the Gramophone Company of India. The EALP series started with the number 1251 (Ravi Shankar & Ali Akbar Khan) in 1960.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Vilayat Khan - Music of India - Vilayat Khan - No. 2 - LP published in Great Britain in 1963

The first volume from 1962 we had posted in 2016. See here. On the back Imrat Khan is also mentioned as playing the Surbahar. But this was true only for the first volume.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Vilayat Khan - Music from India Series 11 - LP published in England in 1969

We continue now our series of LPs by the great Vilayat Khan. Here we post the English edition of an LP which was released also the same year in India, but with a different cover:

The reason why we choose the English edition, though we have the Indian edition in our collection, is that English pressings are of better quality.
This English edition we received from LF from Scotland. Many thanks to him for sharing so generously.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Damodarlal Kabra demonstrates Ragalap - Recorded in Jodhpur on 23.7.1975

With these very beautiful privately recorded Alaps we conclude our posts on Damodarlal Kabra. See here our other posts on the artist:
We received these recordings recently from our friend KF. Many thanks to him for sharing.

"Ustad Ali Akbar Khan came to Jodhpur in 1944 as court musician of the erstwhile Marwar state and came across Damodarlal Kabra. Soon Kabra became Ustad Ali Akbar Khan's first disciple and started learning the fine notes of Maihar Gharana. His hard work and commitment for pure music found new dimensions under his Guru's teachings. 
Damodarlal Kabra loveably called 'Damoodada' never had quest for publicity. He maintained a low profile instead. In 1956, he first played in Calcutta and won a big acclaim there. In May 1959, his Sarod recital was first heard by the Radio listeners across the country in Akashwani's National Programme of Music. 'Dada' always wanted to promote the rich Indian classical music. In 1957, he founded "Rashtriya Kala Mandal' in Jodhpur. Many musicians worked here as teachers, in this college and many great musicians have been students of this college.
'Dada' passed away on 4th August, 1979. After hearing about this legendary tabla player of Banaras Kishan Maharaj uttered " The front page of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan's music has flown away". 'Dada' taught music to many people. His disciples include Manju Mehta, Vikas Gupta, Amubhai Doshi, Imu Desai, Krishna Mohan Bhatt and Laxmi Kant Doshi.
This humble and great musician always maintained a low profile, but his music is still alive and his son Basant Kabra is a true representative of this."

Damodarlal Kabra's only commercial LP (republished as a CD) was a Jugalbandi with his younger brother Brij Bhushan Kabra, today also available on many download and streaming services:

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Girija Devi (8 May 1929 – 24 October 2017) passed away yesterday - In her memory a program from AIR Delhi broadcast on 7th of July 1989

'Girija Devi's demise an irreparable loss to Banaras Gharana'

VARANASI: Demise of great vocalist and Thumri queen Girija Devi came as a big shocker to the music lovers of Varanasi, the birth place of the eminent singer. Girija Devi, fondly known as Appa ji, passed away in a hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday evening. She was 88. 
"It is an irreparable loss to Indian music and Banaras Gharana of music. She was a guiding figure for us," said noted Sarod player and Yash Bharati recipient Pt. Vikash Maharaj. "She was ailing for some time, and admitted to BM Birla Hospital in Kolkata in the morning. She left for the heavenly abode in the evening," he said adding that she had been living in Kolkata with her daughter.
"No one can fill the gap. Even at 88 her scintillating voice could leave the audience spell bound. She was perhaps the last exponent of thumri, tappa, chaiti and khayal. I heard her singing in an award ceremony in New Delhi on August 27," said Ashok Kapoor, founder of a cultural organization Kala Prakash working for the cause of Indian music.
Though settled in Kolkata, she regularly visited Varanasi. She was born in Varanasi in 1929. She took lessons in singing khayal and tappa from vocalist Sarju Prasad Misra in early childhood. She worked as a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata in the 1980s and of the Banaras Hindu University during the early 1990s. She was a prominent performer of purabi ang thumri style of Banaras gharana. She was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2016.

see also:

Here we post in her memory a program from All India Radio (AIR), Delhi, broadcast on 7th of July 1989. This program is quite unusual as it contains just two longer performances in the Khayal format.
First we had posted here a CD from 1990. Because of our rule not to post commercial CDs on this blog we decided to replace it with this AIR broadcast, of which I was not aware that I had it. Just dicovered it now. We received it a while ago from our friend KF. All thanks to him and his generosity.

In 2011 we posted already an LP from 1979 by her. See here.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Ibrahim al-Haggar (1922 - 2000) & Takht Ensemble - Classical Arab Music from Cairo, Egypt - WDR 1972

Here we present - as promised in our post on Salah Abd al-Hayy - broadcasts by Ibrahim al-Haggar, the great Maqam singer from Egypt. The recordings are from a concert that took place in the framework of a Unesco Festival in Cologne (and also Berlin), probably in 1972. The concert was never broadcast as a whole, but parts of it were broadcast by WDR between 1972 and 1975.
We received these recordings recently from our friend KF. Many thanks to him. He also send us notes on the pieces he had written down back then. See here the corresponding pages as a pdf file.
In the same year a wonderful LP by the same singer and his ensemble was published in the Unesco Collection "Musical Sources" under the title: "Taqasim and Layali - Cairo Tradition". The LP contained only one vocal track, all the others were instrumental pieces. The LP was later rereleased as a CD by the French label Auvidis in their Unesco collection. Now it is available as a download in mp3 and flac formats here. The booklet can be downloaded for free here.

'Ud player Gomaa Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Bali - Le gong kebyar - Musique du monde 9 - LP published in France in 1974

Here the last of the volumes from this legendary series we have in our collection.

 Side A
1 - TambulilinganSawan08/08/1970
 Gong kebyar SawanGong kebyar Sawan15'30
2 - WiranataSawan08/08/1970
 Gong kebyar SawanGong kebyar Sawan09'00

 Side B
3 - Manuk AngutjiTampaksiring25/09/1972
 Gong kebyar "Salisiran" TampaksiringGong Kebyar Tampaksiring12'40
4 - PelajonTampaksiring25/09/1972
 Gong kebyar "Salisiran" TampaksiringGong Kebyar Tampaksiring09'30

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Krishnarao Shankar Pandit (1893-1989) - A Broadcast from All India Radio (AIR) with Raga Yaman Kalyan, Raga Paraj & Bhairavi Tappa

Here our last post - at least for now - of the great Krishnarao Shankar Pandit. We received these recordings many years ago, if I remember correctly, from the collector VN in UK. Our friend KF made a CD out of them and created a cover. Many thanks to both.

Addition on October 27th 2017
Here a beautiful story about the artist:
In late January 1970, at the concert hall Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata, Panditji’s program was scheduled one early evening. Supravat Da and I went to the concert hall with our tape recorder to record Panditji’s program. Both of us were not familiar with Panditji’s singing, although we knew that he was one of the great singers of Gwalior Gharana. We had an uneasy feeling that the organizers might not allow us to record the program. It exactly happened that way. The organizers bluntly told us that recording was not allowed. Suddenly I saw Panditji on the back stage and I approached him. After initial greetings, I told him that I would like to record his program but I was not successful in receiving permission to do so from the organizers. Panditji was an older dignified person of seventy-eight, very accommodating and very easy to talk to. He immediately got me the permission to record his program.
I learnt that Panditji arrived at four in the afternoon by train from Gwalior and from the Railway station he went to visit Pandit Tarapada Chakraborty who had been hospitalized. This was a news for us. Panditji was living in Gwalior, knew that Tarapada Babu was ill, and we, the people of Kolkata, had absolutely no information about it.
It is impossible to describe Panditji’s singing. It was unique. His style of singing had no similarity with any other singers I knew of and I do not know if any singer could successfully imitate him. I was fascinated by his control and precision. I was simply overwhelmed. Even today, his Shree, Chaturang in Dabari and many other ragas are among my very favorite.
After the program I met Panditji and before I could say anything, he told me to come to his concert at Birla Academy, which was taking place the next morning. The next morning I passed some time with Panditji before the concert and requested him to sing a few morning ragas of my choice. He sang all the ragas I requested except Paraj; for that one, he said the timing was not right.
Panditji had no idea who I was, what my name was but he was kind and generous enough to invite me to his morning concert and kept my request.
Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit was a great singer, a legend and above all a great human being.
In a private concert of Zia Mohiuddin Dagar in New York in 1980, during the intermission, Dagar Saheb, Sheila Dhar and I were talking. I wanted to know Dagar Saheb’s view of Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit. I am always careful not to praise one musician in front of other musicians. I told Dagar Saheb that one vocalist impressed me very much. After he learnt that I was talking about Krishnarao Shankar Pandit, he was surprised at first then asked me, “Chowdhury saab tell me, who can sing like Pandji?” After superlative compliments about Panditji’s music he told me, “ In a concert if he sings whole night, I will also remain there whole night to listen to him.”

from the outstanding YouTube channel by Subrata Chowdhury (may he rest in peace):

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Krishnarao Shankar Pandit (1893-1989) - LP published in 1970 in India & some shorter AIR recordings

Here we post the only LP - to our knowledge - released during the lifetime of the artist. I don't have this LP and I even never saw it in the shops, not even in the 1970s. Our friend KF has it and made many years ago this CD out of it, adding some shorter recordings from AIR broadcasts and one from a compilation on LP. He also created the covers. Many thanks to him.
In 1992 another LP (PMLP 3080) was published with recordings from the archives from AIR, which unfortunately we also don't have.