Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Looked Better on Paper
Orpheus | 02/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This CD would appear to have a lot going for it. Imrat Khan is famous for his extreme-virtuoso surbahar technique; here he plays unaccompanied, surbahar only (no sitar, which he has never mastered to the same degree, and no tabla accompaniment from his son), in what appears to be an audiophile recording. But when you actually put it on, it manages to disappoint on point after point. Imrat's playing feels quite unimaginative, and the sound of the surbahar becomes thin and metallic, lacking the warm body that it has in real life and in most other recordings. Fans of Imrat will of course need this disc anyway, for it is not wholly without merit, but for the newcomer some disc in the Maestro's Choice or India Archive Music series will serve as a much better introduction to the sonic world of Imrat's surbahar."
Orpheus | on the road | 03/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lalita is a fifty some minutes rendition of the Late night Raga Lalit, normally performed between 4 a.m. and Dawn. It's a very elusive, almost unwieldy Raga; It's ragamala representation is that of a lover, leaving his mistress in the first light of dawn, trying not to wake her. If you are looking for a deeply sensual, yet at the same time mystical mood, this version of Lalit will be an excellent choice.
Ustad Imrat Khan, seniormost exponent of the Imdadkhani Gharana
(tradition) gives an awesome and adept version of Lalit on the
Surbahar (bass-sitar) only, there is but the Alaap, Jhor and Jhalla,
speaking of which it is perhaps the most beautiful Jhor and
Jalla I ever heared in Indian Music. Recorded by the puristic and
dedicated label of Water Lily acoustics, which uses tubegear
to record in a church- this production captures every subtle
vibration and ambiance of the Ustad's heartwrenching playing in a
warm and etheric atmosphere.
Yes, heartwrenching - as this is not your run of the mill 'new age
feel good spacey music, this is very serious and deepfelt devotion
expressed through one of the highest art forms in the world. I cannot
claim to know a lot of versions of Lalit; Hariprasad Chaurasia,
Ram Narayan, Tejendra Majumdar and Shujaat Khan are all landmark
recordings. But this one brings something else to the surface,
something more primal and deep, as if it is played from within the raga...
Lastly, do not be discouraged by the other reviewer's disappointment,
listening to indian music is a very subjective endeavour, dependent
on mood, time of day, quality of your set up, etc. I can't but highly
recommend a recording which does not aim to please, yet is a masterful and very emotional venture into the depths of a very uncanny Raga."