Thursday, 5 January 2017

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan (1935-2017), the great singer of the Patiala Gharana, passed away on 4th of january 2017. May he rest in peace.

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, the legendary and very charismatic singer of the Patiala Gharana and grandson of one of the two founders of the Gharana, passed away on the 4th of january 2017. Sometimes he was called Bade (older) Fateh Ali Khan in order to distinguish him from other singers who carry the same name. We present here in his memory some archival recordings. I don't remember anymore from whom I received these recordings. Our friend KF made a double CD out of them. I always was very fond of his deeply emotional voice and listened to many of his recordings literally hundreds of times. He has quite a number of LPs, cassettes and CDs released in Pakistan (nearly impossible to get outside of Pakistan), India, Germany, France and England. Some of them are available from:

We posted already several cassettes by him in 2013 here and 2015 here (see there more information on the artist), here and here.

There exists a wonderful portrait - The True Ustad - by Ally Adnan, originally published in The Friday Times in Pakistan in 2013. I made a pdf-file out of it. It can be downloaded here:

Comment on 7th of january 2017
The last couple of days I listened several times again to the Megh and Malkauns posted here. These two ragas were - together with Darbari - the favourite ragas of the Ustad and his renditions of them were legendary. I have to say, that even after decades of knowing the music of Fateh Ali Khan, I'm still each time blown away by the sheer intoxicating beauty of these recordings. For me it is an absolute summit of beauty and deep emotion. But, to tell the truth: there are quite a number of summits in Pakistani and Indian Raga music.
What also contributes to it is the exquisite Sarangi and Tabla accompaniment. Unsurpassable indeed. Very particular to Pakistani recordings of that period is that the Sarangi starts the rendition and lays down the atmosphere of the Raga. Only then the singer enters. In India this would be unthinkable. Pakistan always had in the past quite a number of outstanding Sarangiyas: Ustads Nathu Khan, Hamid Hussain Khan, Nabi Bakhsh, Ghulam Mohammad Khan and a few others. In the near future we will post more LPs by some of these great Sarangi masters.


Anonymous said...

Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan also passed away yesterday..

Rory said...

What a great loss, I discovered Ustad Fateh Ali Khan listening to the Jan Garbarek's album "ragas & Sagas "ECM). Beautiful singer. RIP.