Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Maqam-Al-Iraqi - Three concerts in Bonn, Cologne and Baghdad broadcast in 1977, 1978 & 1979 by WDR, Cologne, Germany

Here our second post in our series of recordings of the Maqam music of Iraq. Here we have longer Maqam suites which give a much better impression of this great musical tradition.
Many thanks to our friend KF who recorded these broadcasts, made a double CD out of them and created the covers. Many thanks for sharing them generously.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Arabian Music in Baghdad - LP published in Japan in 1980

With this LP we start a series of three posts of the Maqam Music of Iraq - Maqam al-Iraqi. In 2011 we posted already an LP having a recording by the same singer as on this LP here. See here.
Iraqi Maqam is one of the great Maqam traditions. In some respects it has some affinities to the Mugham music of Azerbaijan and to Dastgah music of Iran, but it is for sure through and through Arabic. I discovered this music in the first half of the 1970s with the legendary LP "Iraq - Makamat - L'Ensemble Al Tchalghi Al Baghdadi et Yusuf Omar" which we will post here as the third post in this series. For a long time there were hardly any other recordings available.
Here on this LP - which to my knowledge was never distributed in Europe or the US - we have mainly the lighter and more vivid and shorter pieces which in a performance are played usually towards the end. In the next two posts we will have the serious longer Maqam performances. Here the singer is also accompanied by a Takht ensemble as it is used normally in Maqam music in Egypt and other Near Eastern countries. In Iraq this a more recent development. Normally the Maqam music is accompanied by the Chalghi Al Baghdadi ensemble consistung of a Santour player, a Djoze player and two or three percussionists, as we will have it in the next two posts.
The singer on this LP is Salah Abdel Ghafour (1952-2012). In the 1970s he toured quite frequently also outside of Iraq. In our next post we will have three broadcasts with him from 1977, 1978 and 1979 done by the WDR in Cologne, Germany. 
Later he seems to have turned more into a singer of popular music.
"Iraqi artist Salah Abdel Ghafour was killed in a road accident in the Iraqi city of Irbil on Sunday evening, April 7, 2012. A medical source said the late singer was injured and hospitalized following a road accident, and passed away at the hospital. Salah Abdul Ghafour was born in 1952 in Al Saadiya district in Diyala Province in Iraq. He was of Kurdish origin. Abdul Ghafour applied to the TV and Radio auditions in 1961 via the program "Rukn Al Huwaa" (Amateurs' Corner), he was only 8 years old at the time. He rose to fame by singing the songs of renowned Iraqi artist Nathem Al Ghazali. In 1973, he joined the National Troupe for Folklore Arts, and later became a member of the Iraqi Inshad Troupe. For the next four years, he participated in a number of festivals and celebrations in Iraq and abroad. In 1977, he joined the Institute of Musical Studies as a student, where he specialized in the Iraqi Maqam and in playing the violin. Six years later, he graduated from the institute and joined the Iraqi Musical Heritage Troupe, founded by the late Mounir Bashir, whereby he took part in many Arab and international festivals and concerts. The song he is most famous for is "Helwa Yal Baghdadiya" (Pretty Baghdadi Girl), the music of which was composed by Nathem Naeem. Some of his most popular hits include "Mou Beedaya" (Out of My Hands), music by composer Mohamed Noushi; "Ridt Ansak" (I Wanted to Forget You), music by composer Farouq Hilal; "Kulman Yahin Lahla" (Whoever Yearns for their Family) and "Khasartak Habibi" ( I Lost You My Darling), music by composer Jaafar Al Khafaf. Song artist Salah Abdul Ghafour made more than 30 albums and 300 songs, including the Iraqi Maqam and Iraqi heritage songs. In addition, he had many national and love songs. Many artists performed his songs, the most famous of which is veteran Turkish singer Ibrahim Tatlises, who performed the song "Shlonak Ainy Shlonak" (How are you my love?). Abdul Ghafour's most famous hits include "Helwa Yal Baghdadiya" (Pretty Baghdadi Girl), "Khasartak Habibi" ( I Lost You My Darling), "La Tulomony" ( Do Not Blame Me), "Anta Al Ghaltan" (You Are Mistaken), "Kul Yom Lak Mee'ad" ( You Have a Time Every Day) and "Il'ab Yal Asmar" ( Play You Dark-toned One)." 
From: http://www.alowaisnet.org/en/news/slahairaq.aspx

About Iraqi Maqam music see:

A blog devoted to Iraqi Maqam with many many historical recordings:

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Abdel Hamid Hussain (1932-1992) - Qur'an Karim - Warsh Recitation from Morocco - Cassette, probably from the 1980s, published in Morocco

Another wellknown Qur'an reciter (Qari) from Morocco. He represents a style quite different from the very beautiful one of the outstanding Haj Abd er-Rahman ben Moussa, of whom we posted eight cassettes (see here).
This is the only cassette by Abdel Hamid Hussain we have. Warsh is the version (or reading) of the Qur'an used in Morocco.
On YouTube one can find a complete Qur'an by him: 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hassan Haffar - Cassette from Syria

Hassan Haffar, who was part of the "Muezzins d'Alep" of our previous post, is one of the most famous Munshidin (singers of religious or Sufi songs) of recent decades in Aleppo, Syria. He toured a couple of times in the west, especially in France, where two CDs were released, and at the Fez Festival. See below one of the CDs.
Our dear friend Danny bought this cassette many years ago in Syria and was so kind to share it with us. Many thanks to him.

In France this fantastic set of 3 CDs was released in 2009. As always it can be obtained from: info@raga-maqam-dastgah.com

Hassan Haffar (Vocal) - Suites d'Alep - The Aleppo Suites, 3 CDs, CD 1: Suites dans les modes Yekah, Nahawand & Rast (47:27), CD 2: Suites dans les modes Hijaz, Zanjaran, 'Ajam & Sikah (47:14), CD 3: Suites dans les modes Kurd, Bayati, Bastanikar & Nakriz (48:09), INSTITUT DU MONDE ARABE, IMA 321.082-84
With an excellent booklet in French, English & Arabic including the sung poems.
„Hassan Haffar is the soloist in the eleven 'Aleppo Suites' presented here, performing with great freedom of expression. His musical and vocal skills blend introspection and sensuality and these three albums confirm him to be a master of the genre...Muezzin at the Great Mosque in Aleppo, Hassan Haffar was born in the city in 1943. A true craftsman, he was singled out for the quality, precision and strength of his voice. He was the pupil of the hymnodists Bakri Kurdi, Sabri Mudallal and 'Abd Al Ra'uf Hallaq...Accompanied by a chorus made up of his pupils he entrances the listener with the rich fullness of his lower register and the precision of his upper register. His brillant range and vocal power do not, however, exclude a rare subtlety and an exquisite refinement... “

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Syrie - Vol. 1 - Muezzins d'Alep - Chants Religieux de l'Islam - LP published 1980 in France

Here a wonderful LP of a group of Munshidin (religious or Sufi singers) from Aleppo, under the direction of the legendary Sabri Mudallal. Amongst them also the wellknown Hassan Haffar. We posted already three recordings by the great Sabri Mudallal (see here). We will post soon one of the many recordings by Hassan Haffar.
This LP was released later also on CD, but is no longer available since many years. A volume 2 was never published.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Algeria - Shaykh Al 'Alawi's Diwan recorded in Annaba - Cassette published in UK in the 1980s

Very beautiful Sama' (singing of  Sufi poetry) from Annaba in eastern Algeria.


Scheich Ahmad al-Alawi (1869-1934)

On Sheikh al-Alawi (qas) see:
and especially this site which contains a lot of material about the Sheikh:
His Diwan exists in English and French translations, as also many of his other works. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Mohammad al-Zahraoui - Sufi Songs (Sama') - Cassette published in Fes, Morocco

Since 27th of may it is Ramadan again. To celebrate it, especially the blessed nights, we post here some cassettes of Sufi ceremonies from Morocco, Algeria and Libya.
First a cassette from Morocco, which I bought in an Islamic bookshop in Brussels in the late 1980s or early 1990s. It contains: Amdah (songs of praising Allah) & Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), Mouloud an-Nabi (celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (saws)) and Wafa ar-Rasoul (?) (I don't know what this means exactly). This is a typical repertoire as it is sung in the first part of a Majlis, a Sufi gathering.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Ghulam Mohammad Khan (1910-1974) - Sarangi - LP released in 1975 in Pakistan

Here our fifth post of great Paksitani Sarangi masters. Unfortunately I don't know anything about this artist, except that he was wellknown as the regular accompanist of Nazakat & Salamat Ali Khan. He is present on several of their CDs and LPs. See for example here.
A friend lent me this LP many many years ago to digitize it. At that time I didn't know yet how to do it, but I had a friend with a lot of experience in digitizing LPs. Unfortunately he didn't scan the covers and created instead new covers, the ones you see here. Many thanks to this friend (KF).
Here the infos with which Dr. Kashyap Dave, the wellknown Sarangi expert, player and teacher, who has helped us out already a couple of times with valuable pieces of information, came up:
"Here are the available details for Ustad Ghulam Mohammed Khan with original credit to my friend Mr. Ali Zafar.
U. Ghulam Mohammad Khan was born in Hoshiarpur in 1910 in a family lineage of eminent sarangi and tabla players. He started learning sarangi at a very young age from his father Bahadur Ali alias Babu Khan. After his father’s death he continued learning this difficult art from his maternal uncle Ghulam Hussain Khan. Later he became a formal disciple of the illustrious Mamman Khan of Delhi Gharana and also of Raheem Buksh Shamapuri. From a very early age he was a very skillful and melodious sarangi player, and attended many music conferences and he accompanied Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan quite frequently in Hyderabad in the early sixties. U. Ghulam Mohammad migrated to Pakistan to settle in Chak Jhumra, a small town in Punjab. Soon he became an artist of Central Production Unit in Radio Pakistan Lahore. In Pakistan he accompanied almost all the great classical vocalists like U. Nazakat Ali & U. Salamat Ali, U. Amanat Ali & U. Fateh Ali He was also an accomplished solo sarangi player. He died in 1974 in the premises of Radio Pakistan Lahore. U. Ghulam Mohammad Khan's sons Ghulam Shabbir Khan and Ghulam Jaffer Khan are respected vocalists in Faisalabad.  His grandson, Akhtar Hussain is carrying his tradition of sarangi playing in Karachi. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Bundo Khan (1880-1955) - Sarangi Nawaz - LP released in Pakistan in 1974

Bundo (Bundu) Khan was one of or perhaps the greatest Sarangi player of 20th century. He had a very particular style and played also on a very particular Sarangi.
We posted in 2012 a broadcast on him:
The same year we also posted some more recordings:
Interesting information on the artist you can find under the first of these links.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Nathoo Khan (1920-1971) - Sarangi - LP published in 1972 in Pakistan

Nathoo (Nathu) Khan was one of the greatest Sarangi players of the 20th century. Here his only LP, published posthumously. He was for me the first Raga musician I ever heard consciously, on the LP "Pakistani Soul Session" (in 1968), and whose music fascinated me so much that the love for Raga music in general, for Sarangi and this artist in particular never left me afterwards. Everything started with him. 
See here our post from 2011 of the LP Pakistani Soul Session, containing an article on the artist.
See also:

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Nabi Bakhsh Khan (1910-1989) - Sarangi Nawaz - LP published in 1977 in Pakistan

Here we continue with our series of Pakistani Sarangi players. Ustad Nabi Bakhsh Khan was one of the most refined Sarangi players of his time.
Here what DrKashyap said:
"Here is info about Ustad Nabi Baksh Khan (credit to my friend Ali Zafar from Lahore):
Born in 1910 in Jhajjar, Ustad Nabi Buksh belonged to the illustrious Panipat Gharana of sarangi players. His father Chaman Ali Khan died when Nabi Buksh was still very young. He learned the art of sarangi playing from his maternal uncle Hussain Buksh (Giyani Khan) and later from the illustrious Badal Khan of Panipat. He became a staff artist of All India Radio Delhi at a very young age. After Partition he joined Radio Pakistan Lahore as a staff artist and served there till his retirement in 1980. Ustad Nabi Buksh was an exceptional accompanist and played with the great singers of his time like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Barkat Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Salamat Ali/Nazakat ali, Roshan ara Begam, Umeed Ali Khan etc. He also played solo and also has some LP records to his credit. He was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 1986. Ustad Nabi Buksh Khan died in 1989 in Lahore. His sons Irfan Nabi Bukhsh and Israr Nabi Buksh are carrying forward his musical tradition of sarangi playing." 
There exist a number of other recordings on YouTube etc. He accompanied a number of the Pakistani singers we have posted here on our blog, like the four cassettes by Roshan Ara Begum.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Hamid Hussain (1923-1980) & Zahid Hussain - Sarangi - LP released in Pakistan in 1975

We start now to post a series of five LPs by great masters of the Sarangi from Pakistan. After that we will post two more recordings from Pakistan, which was a true treasure house of classical Raga music up to the early 1980s.
We start with an LP by Hamid Hussain, one of the greatest Sarangi players of the past century. Here he plays Jugalbandis (duets), on side 1 with his younger brother, also a Srangi player, on side 2 with Sharif Hussain, the leading Sarod player in Pakistan at that time. It seems that Sarod always was a quite rare instrument in Pakistan.
We had already in July 2011 posted an LP by the artist. See here.
The book "Master Musicians of India - Hereditary Sarangi Players Speak" by Regula Burckhardt Qureshi contains a wonderful chapter on and by Hamid Hussain (pages 269 to 289), the most fascinating part of the whole book.  


“Ustad Hamid Husain belonged to the illustrious Muradabad Gharana of sarangi players. He was born in Rampur in 1923. Soon after his birth, his grandfather Haider Husain Khan along with father Abid Husain joined the court of Rampur. The young Hamid received his initial training in sarangi from his father and grandfather. He also got training in sarangi from his maternal unclce Ustad Ali Jan of Rampur.
Hamid Husain joined the All India Radio, Delhi when he was only 15 years old. After the death of his grandfather, he shifted to Bombay in 1939. It was during his tenure there that Noor Jehan as a teenager was auditioned and sang for the first time on Radio accompanied by Hamid Husain. In 1943 he went on an extensive tour of Europe where he gave solo sarangi performances.
Ustad Hamid Husain accompanied most of the senior vocalists of his time including Ustad Fayyaz Khan, Ustad Amir Khan, Begum Akhtar (Akhtar Bai Faizabadi), Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Nazakat Ali-Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Amanat Ali-Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. He had enjoyed a lengthy association with Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. After independence in 1947, he joined Radio Pakistan, Dacca and was later transferred to Karachi where he served until his death.
In addition to the knowledge he gained from his own gharana, the experience of accompanying various vocalists of different gharanas enhanced his scope and from a young age, Hamid Husain became a storehouse of traditional compositions (bandishein).
Apart from his artistic excellence, Ustad Hamid Husain was one of the few musicians who were foremost in promoting classical music by generously transferring the art to non-professional learners. He never kept anything away from his disciples. The long list of his professional and amateur students includes Dinaz Minwala, M. Iqbal, Dr Regular Burckhardt Qureshi, flautist Ustad Salamat Husain and Habib Wali Mohammad.
The Ustad was closely related to legendary giants Ustad Mushtaq Husain Khan and Ustad Ahmad Jan Thirakwa Khan. Other famous musicians of his gharana are his younger brother late Zahid Husain (Karachi), his cousin Ustad Sabri Khan (Delhi), his nephew Murad Ali (Delhi) – all sarangi players – and Ustad Zameer Khan (tabla player). Ustad Hamid Husain Khan died in Karachi in 1980 at the age of 57.”
[Late vocalist & composer Ustad Nihal Abdullah was Ustad Hamid Husain’s brother-in-law (sister’s husband, behnoi).]
from: https://sarangi.info/sarangi/hh/

Monday, 1 May 2017

Jafar Husain Khan (1931-1998) - Inde - Kawwali - Chant soufi de l'Uttar Pradesh - LP published in France in 1985

Jaffar Hussain Khan was the greatest Qawwal in India in the last decades. He was an excellent singer, his music was very dense and very touching. He was a representative of an old and very traditional style of Qawwali. Qawwali at its very best. He studied Raga music with his legendary uncle Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan (see here two LPs we have posted in 2012) of the Rampur Gharana. He also learned Sitar from Ustad Wahid Khan. Later he learned Qawwali from Ustad Ghulam Ahmad and Ustad Bande Hussain.
He made several tours to Europe, the first one in 1981. In the 1990s a number of CDs by him were published in Germany (Academy of Indian Music), Japan (King Records), France (Inedit, the same label which has released our LP. The recordings of the CD are from 1992.), Holland (Pan Records). Finally also two cassettes came out on Music Today in India, which were later also released as CDs. All these recordings are wonderful. 
Wajahat Hussain Khan, a descendant of Jaffar Hussain Khan and grandson and disciple of the great Nissar Hussain Khan of the same Rampur Gharana (see here an LP we posted in 2014), who is here the second singer, continued the tradition. Unfortunately he passed away in April 2014. In India a set of 3 CDs was published recently. Some of these CDs can be obtained from info@raga-maqam-dastgah.com.