Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ustad Sultan Khan|
Ustad Sultan Khan & Zakir Hussain
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Pop
A brilliant performance of an absolutely simple raag
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One might wonder that what else exists in raag bhoopali that remains to be discovered; Afterall this is a raag unknown to none, a raag first learnt by all musicians, and has been beaten to death by all. Yet Ustaadji's perfomance makes this simple raag most mysterious."
Sarangi: The Human Voice in Strings
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 12/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great performance. This is Ustad Sultan Khan on sarangi, and Zakir Hussain on tabla. Recorded live in concert in New Jersey in 1990. I give it 4 rather than 5 stars because I think the end was cut off of the drut gat. I have also always felt that the sarangi is more suited for gats than alaps, so it never quite has the powerful alaps of which the surbahar, sitar, and sarod are capable. The performance is great all the way through, but then at the conclusion of a musical "paragraph", when the crowd claps there is a quick fade and that is the end of Bhupali. At that time, there just was not the usual explosive flare (or fade back into a small minute of alap once again) that would normally signal the impending conclusion of the entire raga.
It just depends on my mood whether or not that even bothers me, though. Maybe I am too forgiving because Sultan Khan was the 2nd Hindustani musician I ever heard (excluding accompanists, of course) and bought cds of, so I have a soft spot in my heart for his classical performances. Maybe I am wrong anyway, but that has never felt like the true ending to me. At 53 minutes, plus 8 or 9 minutes of the Rajasthani folk song there was certainly enough disc time left over to present the complete performance.
Here Bhupali is a soft, yearning raga. Of course with an instrument as expressive ande voice-like as the sarangi, it always sounds like the earth is crying... or at least it does to me.
The folk song is lovely. It's not going to floor you with virtuosity the way the gats do, but the melody is truly sublime. Khansahib sings it with voice and with sarangi, to wonderful effect.
Another great thing about this disc is the sound quality. In some Hindustani recordings, the tone of the tabla is not fully captured. You'll get the pat, but not that aquatic bouncey depth, which is a major part of the tabla and the effect it has on the performance. In this recording it is all there. Every little nuance of the sound comes out of the speakers.
I think my longtime favorite Sultan Khan disc may be out-of-print, as it's not listed at this site and I haven't seen it anywhere in years (not that I have looked for it all that hard, seeing as how I have it), but this is as fine of a readily-available Sultan Khan disc as you could want. If you're coming to Sultan Khan from his Laswell fusion angle (first of all, I am sorry for that), this will show you the true scope of his art.
One of the best recordings of music on earth
Keith | LA, California | 07/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album definitely stands out as one of my favorite cd's i own or have ever heard. It is not possible to dispute Ustad Sultan Khan's virtuosity on sarangi, his soothing voice, or his incredible sense of music. This rendering of Raga Bhupali by Ustad Sultan Khan on sarangi and Ustad Zakir Hussain on tabla is a gem not to be missed by anyone. The 2nd track features Sultanji singing as well. His voice is so haunting. Sultanji's feel for melody is perhaps unequaled in the world of music. This album proves it."