Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ustad Vilayat Khan & Ustad Bismillah Khan - A Rare Jugalbandi

Credit goes to Different Waters for uploading this first. Great blog if you like avant-garde and world music.

I don't really know much about the release and can't find info online (I must be searching wrong), but it's great Indian music again, this time for Sitar and Shenai. Really really great. I'm going to post his description too. Again, credit goes to original uploader/blogger over at DW.

Bismillah Khan (shehnai) with Vilayat Khan (sitar) (and unknown tabla player) recorded in the early 70s for RCA, but was never released in the west. the friend in Singapore who gave it to me says it is the most famous jugalbandi in indian history. my friend goes on a bit about Vilayat (i was actually hoping to hear stories about Bismillah):

"Vilayat Khan was drunk beyond drunk during this session. he was a notorious drunk until 1981. when he quit drinking his music changed also, settled down. he said he couldn't play at that level if he could think, so he had to get shitfaced just to play that fast. a huge majority of indian musicians have hardcore drug/alcohol problems. when ali akbar khan was 12 he was already considered best in the world, but he later destroyed his playing from substance abuse.

vilayat khan was notroious though for giving shit to people. he cursed ravi shankar in public countless times. once threated to kill allah rakha. if rakha played a tabla solo during a session, he would say "you aren't playing for george harrison".

this concert in the recording, by the end of the night he doesn't give a fuck. he's playing all over everyone. bismillah will start a line and vilayat will just play over him. and play this dark, scarey ugly angry shit too. vilayat was as angry and insane as he played. also had the most incredible melodic style. never sloppy. his nephew is best sitarist alive today - shahid parvez, really graceful and clear.

i've got some vilayat khan from the sixties too where he's trying to kill the tabla player by playing at insane speeds, fastest i've ever heard a human play. to where it actually becomes a drone as you can't even hear the notes anymore. the only shit you can buy of his is all from the early 90's, ten to twenty years after his peak. it's still really good but no comparison to the earlier"

01 Bhairavi
02 Dhun
03 Nandkalyan

Download Here:
A Rare Jugalbandi