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 Sarangi 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).]