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Old 2nd September 2013, 20:20   #1
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Lightbulb The Indian Classical & Indo-Western Fusion Thread

In this thread, I would like to discuss about the Indian Classical Music & Indo-Western Fusion Music and Recommendations.

Basically Indian Classical music can be divided into two types. One is North Indian Classical Music aka Hindustani Classical and the Other is South Indian Classical aka Carnatic Classical.

And Indo-Western Fusion Music defines by the name itself. It's a fusion of two different worlds. For Example, John McLaughlin's Shakti.

In addition to that, we can also discuss other Indian Sub-Continental music for instance Pakistani, Persian, Afghan music etc.

So, Friends, Please share your Thoughts, Reviews, Recommendations and share your knowledge and enthusiasm. If you have any questions or wanted any recommendations, please feel free.

And Your suggestions are always welcome. Thanks In advance for your participation.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 20:55   #2
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Thumbs up Useful Links

Useful links related to Indian Music.


Indian Classical Music: The most important form of music from Indian subcontinent. It is said to be oldest form of music on the planet earth. It is basically divided into two types i.e. North/Hindustani Classical & Carnatic/South Indian Classical.

North Indian Classical aka Hindustani Classical Music

South Indian Classical aka Carnatic Classical

Some Other Important Links on Indian Classical Music:

Deepak Raja's World Of Hindustani Music
Chandrakanta & David Courtney's Music of India
Carnatic Music Basics and Archives
Carnatic Music Links
Wikipedia's Music Of India
Raga Culture's Indian Art Music
Indian Heritage Music
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Old 2nd September 2013, 21:13   #3
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Default Ustad Vilayat Khan - Sitar: Raga Bhankar (1991/1997 India Archive Music/EMI)

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Album Details

Artist Name: Ustad Vilayat Khan
Name Of the Album: Sitar: Raga Bhankar {Feat. Akram Khan On Tabla}
Label: India Archive Music/EMI/Virgin Records India Pvt. Ltd. (50999 518709 2 8) {IAM 1030}



In my opinion, Ustad Vilayat Khan is undisputed king of sitar music and this particular album evidences one of the great examples of that. In this album, he chosen "Raga Bhankar", one of very rare ragas of Indian Classical. The first part is an extended Alap which is played in the trademark style of Ustad Vilayat Khan where he introduces the Raga and it's theme and his own imaginations and interpretations which lasts for a little over 38 minutes and then the second part starts with composition in Teental in medium tempo and then ultimately turns into fast teental where "Akram Khan" featured on Tabla. IMO, It's One of the outstanding documents of Ustad Vilayat Khan's mastery on Sitar. Highly Recommended.



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Old 2nd September 2013, 21:47   #4
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Default K.V. Narayanaswamy - Raga Shankarabharanam: The Classic Vintage (1986)

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Album Details
Artist Name: K. V. Narayanaswamy
Name Of the Album: Raga Shankarabharanam: The Classic Vintage
Label: Navras Records {NRCD 1501}


'K. V. Narayanaswamy' is one of the greatest doyens of Carnatic aka South Indian Classical Music who has sincerely devoted his life for this art, who not only performed all over the world but taught this musical art to many people around the world including the upcoming talented flautist 'Shashank'. In this 1986 studio recorded album, 'K. V. Narayanaswamy' has rendered "Raga Shankarabharanam" in its entirety with detailed Ragam, Thanam and Pallavi style. 'Raga Shankarabharanm' is one of the most beautiful and very popular Carnatic Classical Ragas which mesmerizes the listeners when it was executed by an eminent master like 'K. V. Narayanaswamy'. The Mridangam Maestro 'Palghat R. Raghu' (His Mridangam solo at the end of the album is simply mind-blowing) & V.V. Subramaniam (Violin) skillfully accompanied in this very high standard recording of this genre. Heartily Recommended.


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Old 2nd September 2013, 22:05   #5
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Default Ghazal - The Rain - Indian Edition {Feat. Shujaat Husain Khan & Kayhan Kalhor}


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Album Details

Artist Name: Ghazal (Feat. Shujaat Khan & Kayhan Kalhour)
Name Of the Album: The Rain - Indian Edition {Live at Bern, May 28, 2001}
Label: Music Today/ECM CD M 03179 {Originally Released in ECM as ECM 1840}

Amazon Reviews Link

AllMusic Review Link



"I've to swear, this is one of the best World Music bands I've found. This band comprises two key members i.e. Kayhan Kalhour, kamencheh player from Iran And Shujaat Husain Khan, sitar/vocals (The son of Ustad Vilayat Khan, The Legendary sitarist from India). Blending the fusion Of Indian and Persian classical music in a very astonishing and breathtaking way through Sitar, Tabla and kamencheh instruments. I've very enjoyed and heartily recommend you to listen to this one. I must say this is one of very important albums in my life." Highly Recommended.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 22:19   #6
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Default Hariprasad Chaurasia, George Brooks, Gwyneth Wentink & Vijay Ghate - Kirwani

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Artists: Samarpan Feat. Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, George Brooks, Gwyneth Wentink & Vijay Ghate

Album: Kirwani: Message Of The Birds {Live At The Waldorf - Astoria, New York On 16th May, 2005}

Genre: Indian Classical Flute, Saxophone & Harp Jugalbandi/Duet, Indo-Western Classical Fusion, Hindustani Jugalbandi, World Music

Label/Source: Navras Records, UK
Catalog Number: NRCD 6006
Recording Year: 16th May, 2005
CD release Year: September 2005

Back in 60's, When "Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia" has chosen to play the Bansuri flute, it was a minority instrument among Indian Classical Instruments. With his tremendous inputs, he almost singlehandedly is responsible to make this minor instrument as a vital part of Indian Classical Music. On the other hand, No other Indian Classical artist have done such a wide range of experiments in fusion. Be it with Ilaiyaraaja, or with John McLaughlin's Remember Shakti, or with Larry Coryell or with Jan Garbarek, all those his projects with them proved as fantastic fusion masterpieces. IMO, No other Indian Classical artist has such diverse success. Well, in this particular summit he has played with another fine team of classically trained musicians including the fantastic harp musician, Gwyneth Wentink and a very talented saxophonist George Brooks and thunder-storming tabla player 'Vijay Ghate". The concert stats with a brief introductions and then a short musical prayer. The Main piece "Raga Kirwani" an evening romantic raga starts with nearly 30 minutes of beautiful Alap, Jor & Jhalla (Exploring the Raga without percussion) by Hariprasad Chaurasia, Gwyneth Wentink and George Brooks unfolding the raga in a mind blowing complex arrangements. Then composition part starts with 16 beat teentaal joined by tabla player "Vijay Ghate" with his amazing tabla accompaniment. In one word, I would say, this is like a dream come true for those who love Indian Classical Music as well as Indo-Western Fusion. And It can't be better than this. Highly and Heartily Recommended.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 22:28   #7
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Default Shakti With John McLaughlin - Shakti With John McLaughlin (1975)


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Band: Shakti With John McLaughlin
Album: Shakti With John McLaughlin {#1 Collection, Indian Edition}
Band Members: John McLaughlin (Acoustic Guitar), Zakir Hussain (Tabla), L. Shankar (Indian/Carnatic Violin), Ramnad Raghavan (Mridangam)
Genre: Fusion, World Fusion, Indian Classical Fusion
Label/Source: Sony Music/Columbia-Legacy
Catalog Number: 88697 55889 2
Package: Jewel Case
Recording Year: July 5th, 1975
Release Year: 1976
CD release Year: 1991/2009


I guess, there is no need to say anything about this legendary World Fusion band 'Shakti' led by John McLaughlin with Indian musicians including the violin wizard L. Shankar, Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain in the mid 70's. This debut album which was recorded live at South Hampton Collage, England on July 5th 1975. Since this is hugely popular among fusion circle, I just mention a little known fact about this album i.e., Vikku Vinayakram (Ghatam Player) was not part of the band when this album was recorded, but by the time this album was set for a release, the Mridangam player Ramnad Raghavan has already left the band and so for the contractual reasons, the label has included all the band members in the sleeve. The Gnosis rating of this album is 10.89. Needless to say, Highly Recommended.


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Old 2nd September 2013, 22:37   #8
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Default Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan - Golden Milestones {Recorded Circa 1930's & 1940's}

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Artist: Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (Vocal)
Album: Golden Milestones {Recorded Circa 1930's & 1940's}
Accompanied: Unknown
Genre: Indian Classical Vocal, Indian Raga, Hindustani Classical Vocal, Patiala Gharana/School, World Music
Label/Source: RPG/Saregama
Catalog Number: CDNF 150483
Package: Jewel Case
Recording Year: Circa 1930's & 1940's
CD release Year: 2003

These Recordings made in late 30's and 40's are the only official 78 RPM recordings available of "Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan" who is considered as one of the greatest Indian Classical singers of 19th century. Since he was not satisfied with the money he got with these recordings, he was not willing to do studio recordings for all of his career and agreed to record only a couple of LP's at the end of his career and unfortunately by that time his voice was spoiled due to ill health. Coming to these particular 78 RPM recordings included in this album, Although they are very short length (Except 'Harm Om Tatsat', All the songs are Under 3.5 minutes, due to the time restrictions for an RPM recording), his performances mesmerizes us, especially his vocal charming and command over the ragas is excellent. BTW, "Aaye Na Balam (Ka Karoon Sajni)" is Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan's most famous song which was written in memory of his deceased wife. IMO, these are not only great performances of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, but are no less than a great heritage of Indian Classical Music and a real delight for the Indian Classical Music collectors and his fans.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 22:44   #9
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Default Ajoy Chakrabarty - Raga Malkauns {1989, Indian Classical, Vocal}

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Artists: Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty (Vocal)
Album: Raga Malkauns
Accompanied: Samar Saha (Tabla), Jyoti Goho (Harmonium), Ustad Rashid Khan (Tanpura), Jainul Abedin (Tanpura)
Genre: Indian Classical Vocal, Indian Raga, Hindustani Classical Vocal, World Music
Label/Source: India Archive Music/EMI India
Catalog Number: 50999 309286 2 6/IAM CD1004
Package: Jewel Case
Recording Year: October 24, 1989
CD release Year: 1991

'Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty' is the most eminent torchbearer of Patiala Gharana since Ustad Munawar Ali Khan passed away (Son of the legendary Indian Classical Vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan), who is also a guru of Ajoy Chakrabarty. Munawar Saab took much care as he taught and nurtured Ajoy skills which ultimately resulted 'Ajoy' to reach the new heights in Patiala Gharana, a prominent school in Indian Classical Music. Ajoy's daughter 'Kaushiki Chakrabarthy' also one of very talented classical singers of the younger generation. In this studio album recorded in 1989 in New York for India Archives label, he performed Raga Malkauns, a beautiful late night ancient raga, which history dates back to vedic period. Here, it's divided into two parts as the first composition starts with 'Bada Khyal' with a loving poetry called "koeliya Bole" which shown the glory of Ajoy Chakraborthy's majestic voice. After that, Chota Khayal aka Drut Bandish followed with much speed in delivery where Ajoy has chosen "Aaye Piye Mandirava", written by Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. The album closes with a bewitching thumri recited beautifully in Raga Mishra Bhairavi where he also played Harmonium. In this album, Samar Saha Accompanied On Tabla, Jyoti Goho On Harmonium and great vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan Played Tanpura. IMO, This album is a masterpiece and don't miss this gem at any cost.

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Old 2nd September 2013, 22:52   #10
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Default Jon B. Higgins - Entharo Mahanubhavulu (1967)

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Artist: Jon B. Higgins {An American who learned and Sung the South Indian Carnatic Classical Music}
Album: Entharo Mahanubhavulu (1967)
Accompanying: V. Thyagarajan (Violin) & T. Ranganathan (Mridangam) & V. Nagarajan (Kanjira)
Genre: South Indian/Carnatic Classical Vocal, Indian Raga, World Music
Label/Source: Saregama (Formerly HMV India)
Catalog Number: CDNF 147728
Package: Jewel Case
Recording Year: 1967
CD release Year: 2010


Sofar, You must have listened so many western musicians playing Indian Music, but I swear nobody would never come as close to the extraordinary achievements of John B. Higgins. He was an American who immensely loved the South Indian Carnatic Classical Music and came down to India and learned the music and performed it so efficiently just like other Carnatic revered musicians of that era. To Perform the the Carnatic Classical Music by any musicians, they just not only need to learn the lyrics and music, but they have to understand the deepest meaning of it and practically they are supposed to understand three South Indian languages i.e. Tamil, Telugu and Kannada 'coz the major works of this genre were written in these languages. To Anybody's great surprise, Jon B. Higgins, learned all these things and released some of very respected Carnatic Classical albums in his brief lifetime.

Well, Coming to this particular album, this was 'Jon B. Higgins' debut album in Carnatic Classical Genre which is truly an adventurous effort. His perfection, Vocal Modulation of Carnatic Music is really unbelievable. My sincere thanks to record label for allowing such a rare and impossible thing into reality. Highly and Heartily Recommended.

P.S: Fortunately, I managed to grab Jon B. Higgins entire discography including this one and other album funnily titled as 'Vocal' released in 1970 which is also released as "Govardhana Giridhara".I also own his posthumous album called 'Vazhi Maraiththu aka Blocking The Way'.


More Reviews to be continued...!!! Your feedback and suggestions are very welcome. Hope You Enjoy.

Last edited by Wildy : 2nd September 2013 at 23:39.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 10:09   #11
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Default re: The Indian Classical & Indo-Western Fusion Thread

Mod note: Thread moved to Shifting Gears from Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 3rd September 2013, 16:29   #12
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Default re: The Indian Classical & Indo-Western Fusion Thread

Mega like this thread , thank you for creating this one. Will post some of my contributions shortly. Try Agam the band . You can find plenty of vids on youtube.
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Old 6th September 2013, 18:39   #13
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Default Re: The Indian Classical & Indo-Western Fusion Thread

Great start Wildy. Many thanks for initiating the thread.

I am a newbie to the vast ocean of Indian Classical Music and recently started exploring Hindustani Vocals. Loving every bit of the journey.

Stumbled upon this wonderful project by NCPA Mumbai and University of Amsterdam. A unique way of representing Ragas. A real eye operner for a beginner.

http://autrimncpa.wordpress.com/bhairavi/

Eagerly waiting for more reviews from you.
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Old 7th September 2013, 11:06   #14
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Default Re: The Indian Classical & Indo-Western Fusion Thread

Thank you for initiating this thread Wildy and looking forward for more reviews. Not much into fusion, but mighty interested in Hindustani classical

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Originally Posted by C300 View Post

Stumbled upon this wonderful project by NCPA Mumbai and University of Amsterdam. A unique way of representing Ragas. A real eye operner for a beginner.

http://autrimncpa.wordpress.com/bhairavi/
Thanks for this lead C300 - looks great at the outset
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