'His music is the sound of singing water' Carlos Santana
'Alubhai, as I still call him, is one of the great musicians
of the world. I always considered him to be the true master of the sarod, and
in fact to this day I still feel he is the best. I have heard no one else who
has attained such depth of feeling on the instrument. It is apparent in every-thing:
the tone he gets from the sarod, the way his fingers touch the strings, the
notes he chooses as he develops the raga, and the way he phrases and bends
those notes also. It is a sound, and a quality, that no one can duplicate.
After all these years, I still feel that way.' Ravi Shankar
'Sometimes people ask me, "How should we prepare
ourselves to hear this music?", and I always reply, "Don't prepare.
Just come and relax. The music will tell you what to do." ' Ali Akbar Khan
Ali Akbar Khan was one of the greatest musicians of the
A man completely absorbed in the music of the classical
tradition that he inherited, and that he helped popularise in the west. In
1955, after years of training and performing in India, he made his first trip
to the west at the invitation of the famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Khan
arrived in New York City and performed in a festival of Indian culture at the
Museum of Modern Art, that featured the dancer Shanta Rao and the first
screening of Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (at this point billed as The Story
of Apu and Durga). That Evening, for the first time, the sound of the sarod was
introduced to the American ear.
While in New York, Menuhin arranged for Khan and his group
of musicians to record the very first long-playing record of Indian music. The
music industry in India had not yet embraced the notion that audiences would be
prepared to listen to recordings of classical music for more than five or six
minutes. But the huge success of Ali Akbar Khan's groundbreaking album, Music
Morning and Evening Ragas, convinced them to revise their thinking and soon
afterwards the big record companies began issuing long-playing records of all
of India's better-known classical musicians.
recorded celebrated duets (jugalbandi's) with Ravi Shankar, the Karnatak
violinist L Subramaniam, and the sitarist Vilayat Khan, and involved himself in
intriguing collaborations with such western musicians as the classical
guitarist Julian Bream. In 1971, he and Ravi Shankar and such western musicians
as Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, participated in the concert for Bangladesh at
Madison Square Garden, New York, that had been organised by George Harrison to
benefit refugees of Cyclone Bhola and the Bangladesh Liberation War.
scored many films, among them Satyajit Ray's Devi (The Goddess 1960) and the
first Merchant Ivory feature, The Householder (1963). A film about Khan and the musical and
cultural responsibilities inherited by his son, Alam, will soon be released.
Joshua Dylan Mellars’ Play Like a Lion: The Legacy of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan
edition combines the two historic, much sought-after, long-players recorded by
Khan in India in 1960 and 1961.
Release Date: 15/07/2013
Our Price: £9.95
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