Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Vilayat Khan & Bismillah Khan - Duets - LP released in Great Britain in 1967


This was one of the most popular LPs of classical Indian music in the 1960s and 1970. It is very surprising that it never was released on CD. Perhaps the master tape got lost. 
This was one of my first LPs of Raga music. The first one was the legendary "Pakistani Soul Session" with the great Sarangi master Ustad Nathu Khan (see here), the second the very beautiful LP "North Indian Master of the Sarod" by Ali Akbar Khan (see here). One or two years later (1969 or 1970) I bought in Holland two LPs: my very first Ravi Shankar (see here) and the one posted here.





7 comments:

Anonymous said...

my mother had Ravi Shankar at Woodstock on the shelf with her Joan Baez and Bob Dylan records, but my own first purchase of Indian music -- as a freshman in 1990 -- was two volumes (of 12 or 24?) from the *Morning to Midnight* series of tapes by EMI India. One had an excerpt of the Bhairavi duet and its always been a favorite.

:)

By the way, the CD re-releases only included about half of what was on the tapes! At the time, I couldn't afford to buy any more than those two... Although I later purchased the full set of 6 CD's, I'm still hoping some day to track down some of the un-included tracks. There were some amazing gems just on those two!

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Raga-Rang/release/3605626

...and this was the other one I bought at the same time. Thought you might enjoy taking a "trip down memory lane" with me... THANKS FOR THE UPLOADS!!!!!!!

Richard said...

Thanks for this!

My first exposure to Indian Classical music was in 1989-90, when I was a music reviewer at a local newspaper . There were other writers who knew about popular music, rock, blues, and jazz (all of which I consider myself quite knowledge about) but I was the only person on staff who knew anything about western classical music. Because the local town was in fact a college town, there were quite a few classical concerts to be written about. That made me "the classical guy" a bit against my will. But I wasn't really complaining. Having my words in print was somewhat of a dream come true for me since I was a kid.

At the newspaper office, we would get boxes of LP records (and later CDs) from various companies -- usually they sent us everything they released. One of those companies was Nimbus, an odd little British company which was releasing a blizzard of classical CDs. They happened one time to include "Raga Bhimpalasi" by Hariprasad Chaurasia (NI 5298 ) -- I was astounded and amazed by what I heard. Could it possibly be that such a talented musician was performing for over an hour without stopping? I was hooked and soon had a few dozen of the Nimbus CDs in my collection. They're very kind to send me requests even when the CD had been released more than a year previously (i.e., it wasn't a "new release" anymore)

A year or so after that I spent 2 years out of the US with my wife, on a small island without much contact from the outside world. I spent a lot of time deeply listening to music, including early jazz from the 1920s and 1930s and also my collection of Raga CDs on Nimbus. I did not learn a thing about the music except that I felt more and more close to what i considered the emotional center of the music. After i returned from the island, I read books, attended lectures and learned from teachers a bit about both Hindustani and Carnatic music.

Thanks for this great blog of yours and thanks for this outstanding run of four Ustad Vilayat Khan LPs in a row. "Supreme Genius" and "Star-studded World" are harder to find than the typical UV Khan LP.

Tawfiq said...

Dear Richard, thank you very much for sharing your memories. What touched me deeply and changed my perceptions and in effect my life were the deep emotions which found expression in Indian classical music and also in Iranian and classical Arabic music (soon I will post my first encounter with Arabic music), layers of feeling and a longing I was not in touch with before. All these vast inner universes I started to discover with this music.
I was also writing (more translating) about music for a short while in 1968 and 1969 for a very small journal, the first of its kind here in Germany, which focused originally on Jazz, basicly the Free Jazz of those times, and started also to discover the new kinds of psychodelic music which came at that time from the US, mostly from the west coast, and the UK. There we also received a lot of promotion LPs and amongst them this Vilayat & Bismillah LP. We had a free lance contributor who often hang out in the late afternoons and evenings in our office - in effect we lived also there - and used to play this LP very very often.
Earlier in 1968 I was for a while in Berlin, for a short while staying with Edgar Froese of the Tangerine Dream, and there I had another of my earliest and most memorable encounters with oriental music. I remember vividly one afternoon in their huge living room while a terrifying thunderstorm was going on listening to Japanese and Tibetan music. Those were the days

Tawfiq said...

Dear Richard, I will post one more LP by Vilayat Khan, the one with Kumar Bose which you had posted already as a cassette. Hope you don't mind.
After this I will focus for a while on some Pakistani Sarangi players.

Anonymous said...

Long life for Tawfiq !

Rory said...

Thanks a lot Tawfiq for this new gem. As far as I'm concerned, I discovered indian music listening to the first Shakti's John McLaughlin album.

I was astonished by the musical level, the virtuosity. I discovered Hariprasad Chaurasia listening to teh Remember Shakti album (1997) and I started to grab indian classical music: Chaurasia first (with the absolutely fantastic Rag Bhimpalasi on the Nimbus records evoked by Richard, one of my favorites ICM recording as well), then Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali Khan etc etc and many more with your blog!

I love arabic music as well, especially oud music (Munir Bashir and iraki maqam for example). And flamenco!

AmbroseBierce said...

Nice to hear those stories - thanks all.

My own very first contact to oriental music was seeing Ravi Shankar's Festival from India on German TV, some time in the mid-70s. I was impressed, sort of, but didn't really know what to make of this, being a fan of The Who and Deep Purple at that time.
A few years later, starting from 1977, a friend introduced me to many musical traditions (as well as to drugs), through Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Salman Shukur, Umm Kulthum, Persian classical music, Tibetan ritual music, Gamelan, etc. I did listen to all, besides lots of other music, but got hooked to Indian classical music completely while travelling to India on a yearly basis all through the 1990s and buying hundreds of cassettes on every trip. Later I got more into Persian and Arab classical music, but never stopped listening to Indian music.