Maddy Prior has established herself, by dint of both talent and time, as one of the leading female singers in British folk (and folk-rock). Born in St. Albans, outside London, she developed an interest in traditional English music as a teenager and through friends, found her way to the treasure trove of material at Cecil Sharpe House and also to Ewan MacColl, the de facto leader of the folk revival. In the late '60s, she met Tim Hart, an accomplished singer and instrumentalist, and together they recorded three albums which made little impact at the time, not even setting the folk clubs buzzing. However, they had played some folk festivals, including Keele, where they met Fairport Convention bassist Ashley Hutchings, who was about to form a new band. Prior and Hart became part of the ensemble known as Steeleye Span, who would become an ongoing institution of British folk-rock, with Prior as one of its constants -- she even married Rick Kemp, the bass player who replaced Hutchings.
In 1976, she teamed with another young folk singer, June Tabor, under the Silly Sisters moniker, to record the first of what would be two albums, also remaining with Steeleye until the group officially disbanded in 1978. After that, she embarked on her solo career, her debut, Woman in the Wings, being produced by Jethro Tull leader Ian Anderson. She also began another career, as the mother of two children, but still joined a reunited Steeleye in 1980, continuing to juggle band and solo work and evening forming her own group, the Carnival Band, who've supported her on record and tour since 1987. When Prior experienced some voice problems in 1993, Gay Woods, who also been an original Steeleye vocalist, rejoined the band. Prior continued to record more frequently alone, including the albums Year, Flesh and Blood, and Ravenchild, many of which were concept records, before finally leaving Steeleye Span in 2000 to concentrate purely on solo work.
"Subtitled "A Cure for all Melancholy", this CD might just as easily be titled "Seventeenth Century Golden Party Greats"! Andy Watts leads the Carnival band on another musical adventure, mixing period and modern, even electric, instruments, but the Carnival Band still maintains an authentic spirit. Maddy Prior meets the challenge of singing in differing styles with her usual ability and grace.
The band bursts into The Prodigal's Resolution with the abandon of an Elizabethan whoopee band. It continues with a set of Playford Dances, starting with pipes alone, and building up to a folk-rock band. The Jovial Begger - yes, spelt "er" the insert insists - sounds like early jug band music!
There are pieces which are more simple. Maddy Prior has a showcase in Never Weatherbeaten Saile, with a plain lute backing, and period instruments accompany The World is Turned Upside Down throughout. Maddy shares in the two unaccompanied songs, "A Northern Catch" and "A Round of Three Country Dances in One".
There are also some more modern tempos - The Leathern Bottel has a hypnotic rhythm with electric bass and rich Hammond organ. Now O Now I Needs Must Part has the charm of a gentle Country and Western waltz, introducing strains of Somewhere Along the Road. Finally, Old Simon the King starts off sedately, but suddenly electric guitar and saxophone transform the beat into ska. This fusion of styles is truly a Cure for all Melancholy!"
01. Prodigal's Resolution (Anon 18th century)
02. 5 Playford Tunes (from Playford's "English Dancing Master")
03. The World is Turned Upside Down (Anon 17th cent)
04. Jovial Beggar (Anon 17th cent)
05. Leathern Bottle (Anon 17th cent)
06. Iantha (Anon English 18th cent)
07. An Thou were my ain Thing (Anon Scottish 18th cent)
08. Oh that I had but a Fine Man (Pelham Humphry)
09. Now O Now I needs must part (John Dowland)
10. Man is for the Woman made (Henry Purcell)
11. A Northern Catche/The Little Barleycorne (John Hilton/Trad)
12. Granny's Delight/My Lady Foster's Delight (Anon 18th cent)
13. A Round of Three Country Dances in One (Thomas Ravenscroft)
14. Youth's the Season Made for Joys (Words: John Gay/Tune: anon)
15. In The Days of my Youth (Words: John Gay/Tune: anon)
16. Never weatherbeaten sail (Thomas Campion)
17. Old Simon the King (Anon)
Maddy Prior: vocals
William Badley: baroque guitar, lute, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo mandolin, vocals
Andrew Davis: double bass
Giles Lewin: violin, recorders, hoboy, mandolin, vocals
Andrew Watts: Flemish bagpipes, shalmes, curtals, recorders, melodica, kazoo, vocals
Rafaello Mizraki: drums, percussion, cello, Hammond organ, vocals
It’s really pluralism which characterize best Urs Karpatz, group of polyphonies, polyrythms and polyinstruments.
This ensemble, with its extraordinary ethnomusical range, plays and sings in romanes, gypsy language, a high quality repertory, reflecting and echoing gypsy culture in Europe. The group members come from Ukraine, Hungary and Romania. VIOLINS, SMALL AND BIG, CYMBALLUM, DOUBLEBASS, DRUMS, ACCORDION, CYTHARE, FLUTE, CLARINET AND SAXO ARE JUDICIOUSLY MIXED WITH VOICES.
Urs Karpatz is far from an ordinary gypsy group.
Its story isn’t banal, and we could have discovered it through a Tony Gatlif movie...
At the beginning, there is a man, Dimitri, descendant of pirates and travellers. An eventful childhood for background... When he was 4 years old, he escaped to join the romanichel camp located near his home in order “to do waht I want”! Commotionned teenages, dreams of trips and music... Then starts his long road following gypsies through all the eastern europe countries.
One day, during one of his trip in Bosnia with nomad gyspsies bear breeders, Dimitri saves a child of the group from drowning. As a token of his gratitude, the child father gives him a trained baby bear. Gift impossible to refuse! That’s how Dimitri decided to rebirth the craft of showing bears...associated with gypsy music.
Started then the search for musicians, 8 singers from the best ones, the most originals and above all proud not to deny their Romani culture! Thus in 1993, the group Urs Karpatz were born. It’s in august 1993, during the Gypsy Nights of Saint-Raphaël that URS Karpatz performed for the firts time. It was a great success ! Very fast, the group filled out and performed about 30 times in France in 1993 associating concerts and bear shows.
At the beginning of 1995, a first album released in France, composed of extracts from concerts played in St Raphaël (1993) and in Saintes Maries de la Mer in may 1994. And here they are in december 1995 for 5 weeks in the Theater du Tourtour in Paris!
Since then, the group fills out each year with a new album : in december 1999, it’s with the releasing of "Chemins de Tsiganie" that they filled up the theatre Européen in Paris, for 3 weeks! The album "Routes et Racines" is presented during 3 exceptionnal concerts in the Bataclan hall in Paris in november 2000. The last night, they received ROMANES AWARD 2001.
"Urs Karpatz don’t care about fashions... their romani culture sweats through each one of their compositions or their interpretations. Full of vibes, lively music, gypsy music !"
Tony GATLIF, movie maker
"URS Karpatz won aver me immediately…
Indeed, what makes this group is that they really and greatly follow the work of disappeared gypsy masters. And I see that Urs Karpatz works with an unusual professionnalism for gypsies "on the road". To the antipodes of gypsy musics "for tourists", Urs Karpatz interpreters, without any concession to soppy, perfect virtuosos instrumentists, reach their aim with brio. And they join those who proove us that Nietzsche were right when saying "without music, life would be a mistake...." Long life to URS Karpatz !"
Marcel CELLIER Ethno-Musicologue
01. Katar Avas Ame
02. Droma Ai Vine
03. E Ritshini Skiliol Te Khelel
04. Shukar Romni
05. Iakha Tshorane
06. Ashunen Tume Romane
07. Rovel O Kast
08. Hal Peske Naia (Kolo)
09. O Manush
10. Khelipe Gajikano
11. Ai Ushti
13. Leskoro Shero Mato
15. Me Jav Korkoro Po Drom
16. Dane Nane, Telpitsha Tshinde
17. Andaluso Koncerto
DIMITRI: Leader - Chant - Percussion - Cithare
BÉBÉ: Chant - Guitare - Accordéon
GOASHE: Violon alto - Violon a pavillon
KATSOFANE: Violon - Choeurs
LOLIK: Chant - Percussion
MATCHO: Saxophone - Clarinette - Flute
"Ah...where to begin? How about if I use one of their own quotes "Six Yanks dedicated to the preservation of fine drikin', fightin', courtin' and sailin' songs of Ireland and Scotland". That should just about say it all and yet there is much more to tell! There is so much diverse talent in these 6 musicians it's almost unfair to all the rest. They have singing/songwriting ability and are capable of playing just about any instrument known to man including bagpipes, fiddles, banjos, whistles, accordion, violin, bodhran, haggis (I have no clue what a haggis is) my favorite mandolins and of course all the usual everyday type of instruments that the rest of us struggle with. Most of all though they are just having a damn good time doing what they're doing and it shows whether in their songs or in their stage performance. This is old hat for some of them including singer Kyf Brewer who has been in the music business for a few years now.
He started back in the 80's with the Ravyns (the good old days!) then moved on to Company of Wolves and now he is again enjoying great success with Barleyjuice. Yes, there is still some time to work on some side projects for those of you who have followed his career. Keith Swanson or Swanny,another one of the founding members of the band was Pipe Major of the Loch Rannoch Pipe Band before starting up Barleyjuice a year later. I could go on and on with the individual talent in this band but the truth is if you throw these six guys in a pot, stir it round a bit, you have gold.
They have already done 3 albums starting in 2003 with "One Shilling" followed by "Another Round" and finally giving us "Six Yanks" in 2006.
So put on your kilts...don't tell me you don't own one! Alright you might have to find one...look on the Internet under "kilts" and get down to see the band. I promise you the time of your life, but after all the whiskey and beer I won't promise you that you'll remember it. Just an excuse to do it again!"
01. Misty Mornings Miss'd
02. Pretty Wild Bride
03. Modern Pirates
04. Love With A Priest
05. Real Old Mountain Dew
06. Beauty And The Rum
07. More Pipes
08. Tartan Is The Colour Of My True Loves Hair
09. Tim Finegans Wake
10. Dear Ould Ireland
12. A Bands A Band For A That
Kyf Brewer (vocals, guitar, accordion, harmonica, bagpipes, congas, bodhran, tin whistle)
Keith Swanson (vocals, guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, bagpipes, tin whistle, bass)
Billy Dominick (fiddle, vocals, violin)
Jimmy Carbomb (whistle, banjo)
Eric Worthington (bass, backing vocals)
Gregor "The Shredder" Schroeder (drums, vocals)
It's been 300 years since Ferenc Rákóczi, commander-in-chief of the Hungarian insurgent forces, stood at the head of the multitudes summonded to Tiszahát. The Rákóczi war of independence (1703-1711) ultimately failed, despite initial victories by the Kuruces, but left a lasting impression of the national conciousness in the music and poetry of the following centuries. One of the types of usic which the listener won't find included on this CD are the songs which have been popularized by use in gramar-school songbooks over the last one hundred years, but which may be of questionable authenticity. Our selection aims to highlight those songs which village musicians of the 20th century have made part of their everyday repertoire. By reviving these songs, we are paying our respects to the village musicians who have passed down the Kuruc songs of bygone days and the musical heritage of a time long since past.
01. Az ádámosi Rákóczi-induló / Rákóczi Fanfare, Ádámos
02. A szilágysámsoni Rákóczi-frisse / Rákóczi Song and Friss (‘Fast’), Szilágysámson
03. A soproni Rákóczi-nóta és Rákóczi-keserves / Rákóczi Song and Lament, Sopron
04. Magyarpalatkai lassú cigánytánc és összerázás / Slow Gipsy-dance and Csárdás, Magyarpalatka
05. Nincs becsületi az katonának / That Soldier Has No Honor
06. Botostánc / Staff-dance
07. Én is egyszer kedvemre éltem / I Used To Live As I Pleased
08. Tyukodi pajtás nótája / The Tyukodi Pajtás Song
09. Elvesztette a pásztor a kecskéit / The Shepherd Lost His Goats
10. Hajdútánc / Heyduck Dance
11. Miről apám nagy búsan szólt / What My Father So Sadly Said
12. Rákóczi ritka magyarja / Rákóczi Slow Dance
13. Menj el, menj el szegény Magyar / Go Go Poor Hungarian
14. Rutén Rákóczi-induló / Ruthen Rákóczi Fanfare
15. Mégis huncut a német / The German Is A Rascal Al The Same
16. Czinka Panna nótája és tüsszentős czardas / Panna Czinka’s Song and “Sneeze Csárdás”
17. Dudacsárdás / Bagpipe Csárdás
18. Mikes Kelemen nótája / Kelemen Mikes’s Song
19. Doroszlói verbunk és Czinka Panna verbunkja / Verbunk From Doroszló and Panna Czinka’s Verbunk
Éva Fábián - voice, beat gardon
Béla Halmos - violin
Tamás Petrovits - dulcimer
Péter Dövényi - kontra-fiddle, kontra-viola, drum
András Nagymarosy - double bass, tamburica, guitar, drum, voice
Gergely Agócs - voice, tárogató
István Berán - turkish flute
Milán Hetényi - voice
Anikó Papp, Zsuzsa Papp - voice
Please To See The King is the second album by Steeleye Span, released in 1971. A substantial personnel change following their previous effort, Hark! The Village Wait, brought about a substantial change in their overall sound, including a lack of drums and the replacement of one female vocalist with a male vocalist. The band even reprised a song from their debut, "The Blacksmith", with a strikingly different arrangement making extensive use of syncopation. Re-recording songs would be a minor theme in Steeleye's output over the years, with the band eventually releasing an entire album of reprises, Present--The Very Best of Steeleye Span.
The title of the album is derived from the "Cutty Wren" ceremony. A winter wren in a cage is paraded as if it were a king. This rite was carried out on December 26, Saint Stephen's Day, and is connected to early Christmas celebrations. The song "The King", appearing on the album, addresses this, and is often performed as a Christmas carol. Steeleye returned to this subject on Live at Last with "Hunting the Wren" and on Time with the song "The Cutty Wren". The custom of Wrenboys is mostly associated with Ireland, but it has been recently revived in England.
All songs appearing on the original album are traditional. "The False Knight on the Road" is one of the Child Ballads (#3), and concerns a boy's battle of with the devil in a game of riddles. Hart and Prior had already recorded a version of the song on their album 'Summer Solstice'. "The Lark in the Morning", one of their more popular songs, has the same title as a different song about a lusty ploughboy, though there are strong similarities. This version was collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams. "Boys of Bedlam", a variant of Tom o' Bedlam", is told from the perspective of a member of a lunatic asylum. Carthy and Prior open the song by singing into the back of banjos, producing a muffled effect. The band uses the earliest printed version of the song, from Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy by Thomas d'Urfey.
Melody Maker made this their folk album of the year. Music journalist Colin Irwin in his book "In Search of Albion" describes it as one of his favourite folk-rock albums. It reached number 45 in the UK album charts, originally on B & C Records but before the year was out the rights were acquired by Mooncrest Records who re-released it the same year, with different cover art. It was issued in the US at the same time on Big Tree, when the small label was distributed by Ampex. It sold poorly and was deleted quite soon after release. Remaining copies were bought up by a couple of the 'cut-out' distributors and by that time, the band had signed with Chrysalis and the cut out original sold very well. When stock ran out, poor quality bootleg copies started to turn up in huge quantities.
Musically, this was their most electric, dense recording, with loud guitars and strong looping bass lines and no drums.
02. Cold, Haily, Windy Night
03. Bryan O'LynnThe Hag with the Money [Jigs]
04. Prince Charlie Stuart
05. Boys of Bedlam
06. False Knight on the Road
07. Lark in the Morning
08. Female Drummer
10. Lovely on the Water
11. Rave On
Maddy Prior / vocals, spoons, tabor, tambourine
Tim Hart / vocals, guitar, dulcimer
Peter Knight / violin, mandolin, vocals, organ, bass
Ashley Hutchings / bass, vocals)
Martin Carthy / vocals, guitar, banjo, organ
"After Wolf Krakowski's last outing, the stunning Transmigrations: Gilgul, he and his band, the Lonesome Brothers, took country music to the extreme margins of integration, where it met blues and traditional Yiddish music in a swirl of loss, longing, and celebrations of holiday foods. This time out, Krakowski branches out even further to mine the deep vein of musical cultures from all over the world -- reggae, tango -- without losing his beautifully mystifying meld of traditional Yiddish folk melodies or American country and folk-blues. Had he written his own material this way, we could have called him an original, but Krakowski's upside-down cake of musical mementos is actually the accompanying soundtrack for a bunch of radically rearranged Yiddish songs from the theater, pop, and folk musics. Composers from the last century, such as Abraham Levin, Itzak Manger, Shmuel Halkin, and others, are represented here in clashing forms where pedal-steel guitars meet steel drums from Trinidad on "Mit Farmakhte Oygin" (With Eyes Closed), or Kurt Weill's German cabaret meets the Italian tarantella and a crunchy electric guitar on "Dona Dona." In fact, the depths are so profound and rich here they defy categorization, other than "great Jewish music." This is the accumulated music of the diaspora of a people who have settled in almost every corner of the earth and who cling to their identity despite many attempts to wipe it -- and them -- out. Krakowski's recording, which was produced by Frank London of the Klezmatics, is, consciously or not, a signpost for the way to the future. He uses the past as a way of being inclusive rather than as a tool for revision. This is gorgeous music any way you slice it, moving, deep, sensual, and full of a warm humor to boot."
Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
01. My Father And Mother
02. Dona, Dona
03. I'll Never Steal Again
04. With Eyes Closed
05. A Waste Of Your Tears
06. You Will Be Mine
07. Spin, Dreydl
08. Deep Pits, Red Clay
09. One Hundred
10. Let's Just Think About Today
11. Buddy, Have A Smoke With Me
Wolf Krakowski - vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
THE LONESOME BROTHERS:
Jim Armenti - guitars, mandolin, violin, balalaika, batar
Ray Mason - bass guitar, guitar
Tom Shea - drums, guitar
Seth Austen - National steel guitar, 12-string guitar, mandola, mandolin
Doug Beaumier - pedal steel guitar, dobro
Fraidy Katz - back-up vocals
Daniel Lombardo - percussion
Frank London - trumpet
Corner Mentos - steel drum
Brian Mitchell - accordion, organ
Charles Neville - saxophones
Jaye Simms, Pamela Smith Salavka - back-up vocals
Beverly Woods - tsimbl
Intense and spiritual, full of ritual drums and driving guitar rhythms, the fourth full-length from David Eugene Edwards's Woven Hand is as terrifyingly beautiful as any of his work with 16 Horsepower. As always, he hitches Americana instruments – banjo, fiddle, hurdy-gurdy – to industrial strength percussion, in a strange hybrid that borrows as much from Joy Division as Johnny Cash.
Nearly all the songs are bleak evocations of spiritual crisis. What's interesting about Edwards is that he expresses genuine and abiding faith right alongside crushing doubt. In the album-topping "Dirty Blue," he gazes into abyss under modern life. "You're curled up warm / In your own little corner of Sodom / Did you agree to believe that this fall / Has no bottom," he says in his ghostly, possessed voice, evoking damnation and salvation against a circling throb of violin. "I've lived by the book of numbers / And I'm held together by strings," he sings later. If anyone's ever told you that accepting Jesus puts spiritual angst to rest, this is exhibit A to the contrary.
Edwards is interested in traditional music, the kinds of songs and rhythms that older societies use to express and reinforce their most deeply held values. "Slota Prow," a mesmeric cut that is partly spoken in a made-up language, is a Gnostic haze of sound, the slow reverberations of violin and nickelback harp punctured by sudden shots of drum. A galloping beat emerges from this trance-state opening, urgent and mysterious, a call to holy war.
There is respite here in the places that Edwards finds calm – family, married life and music. "Swedish Purse," with its eerie church organ and plucked banjo, has a luminous, resonant center. The cut, whose melody was drawn from a medieval song, considers Edwards' love for his wife and children. "She has made place for me / In life for those our children / Sewn into her Swedish purse / I think upon these things," he sings, and though the song is more about solace than joy, it is an island of tranquility. The other break from intensity comes just past the halfway point, in an all-instrumental track called "Bible and Bird." The cut is a ray of sunshine, bright guitar strumming and lifting chords of organ, with none of the darkness and doubt (or the drums) of the rest of the album. You can almost feel Edwards relaxing, enjoying the pure physical and mental pleasure of lovely music. It's a pause to take breath, a relief, but temporary; it leads right back into the vortex in "Dirty Blue."
There are certain kinds of music that seem to put you into direct contact with the person that made them, an unfiltered glimpse into a foreign soul. Mosaic is one of those records, overwhelming, dizzying, serious and beautiful, a spiritual experience even if you don't share Edwards' difficult faith.
01. Breathing Bull
02. Winter Shaker
03. Swedish Purse
05. Whistling Girl
07. Bible And Bird
08. Dirty Blue
09. Slota Prow-Full Armour
10. Truly Golden
11. Deerskin Doll
12. Little Raven
David Eugene Edwards - vocals, guitar, bass
Daniel McMahon - piano
Ordy Garrison - drums
Elin Palmer - strings
Daissa is a Gypsy word meaning ‘yesterday ’and ‘tomorrow ’and thus provides the perfect title for an album that harkens to the past yet sounds thoroughly contemporary. La Kumpania Zelwer combines elements of street theater and circus alongside vibrant music from the Gypsy tradition with references to Indian,Yiddish and Breton culture. Bandleader Jean-Marc Zelwer is a multi-talented musician who has even gone so far as to create his own instruments to get a specific sound he’s after. There are no limits to Zelwer ’s fertile imagination.
"Kumpania Zelwer is the brainchild of composer and multi-multi-instrumentalist Jean-Marc Zelwer. Zelwer plays everything from nyckelharpa to santur to glass xylophone. His eight-piece band plays everything from washboard to toy piano to singing saw. This eclectic assortment of household appliances would yields a colorful pastiche of sound. Zelwer and company use these and more conventional weapons of mass construction such as accordion, cello, trumpet, violin, and tuba to create a sound that mixes elements of klezmer, cabaret, and street theater, with touches of Gypsy and Breton music for good measure. Daissa is a wild ride and one well worth taking.
The album kicks off with the dramatic traditional Yiddish song "Birobidjan" (Listen!), about an autonomous Jewish region of the Soviet Union founded by Stalin. The optimistic lyrics belie the dire minor key of the melody. Vocalist Francesca Lattuada's powerful alto gives the piece the theatricality it deserves. Another highlight is the loopy instrumental "C'est pas tour les jours Shabbat," with its circus-like oom-pah tuba and clashing tonalities on piano, clarinet, and trumpet. The vaguely nightmarish "Balagan" (Listen!) features glass bottle xylophone and trumpet with a gouache of spooky organ and altered voices in the background. Particularly beautiful is the "Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs)," with its droning violin and santour accompaniment. "Polvere" a Corsican cante jondo (usually performed a cappella) gets a chamber music treatment with violin, cello, and nyckelharpa.
Zelwer has created street shows using dozens of musicians and has made a career of writing music for the stage. The theatre that is in his blood translates quite successfully to disc. He uses the sounds at his disposal as an impressionist painter might have used various brush strokes and combinations of color. The result is a richly textured canvas with all of the emotional impact of the best art."
03. Lekhayim! (A la Vie)
04. Opazdyvaia Na Messu
05. En Retard Pour la Messe
06. Trotz Alledem (Malgre Tout)
07. C'est Pas Tous Les Jours Shabbat
09. Le Roi des Schnorrers
10. Shir Hashirim
11. Terra Incognita
12. Polvere (Poussiere)
14. Trois P'tits Tours et Puis Savon
Jean-Marc Zelwer - Accordion, Clarinet, Nyckelharpa, Glass Xylophone
Maryam Chemirani - Vocals
Dimitri Artemenko - Violin
Pierre Rigopoulos - Zarb Drum
Jean-François Ott - Cello
Michel Feugere - Trumpet
Sylvie Cohen - Keyboards, Toy-Piano, Water Drums
Sylvie Jérusalem - Tuba
Francesca Lattuada - Vocal
Egy Kiss Erzsi Zene (Erzsi Kiss Music) makes a fusion of existing and fictitious languages; bridges are built between well-known and imaginary continents. This music is a flow of never-ending improvisations; lyrics without lyrics, free associations are the basis of the diversity of their music which includes elements of dark ballads, chansons, rock of the '70s. In brief: the "ethno-rock" cavalcade. The band was formed in 1996. Since then they have great success, in Europe they were invited to many international festivals and clubs. Initially the vocal arrangements were in focus, which by now has been balanced with instrumental arrangements interpreted by the jazz musicians of Erzsi Kiss. It is a jubilant music that the band creates with a virtual world: many instants and emotions.
Described as having an eclectic blend of ethnic musical influences Erzsi Kiss and her band have an enthusiastic following in their Hungary. It can only be a matter of time before this spreads beyond that country's borders.
"The music can be a little bluesy, a little jazzy, a little Serbian, a little Russian or Arabic, we can play and travel as much as we want, because we have no language restrictions. Human imagination and musicality are the only things that can limit us."
02. Ana Lytindi
03. Tomma Holahi
13. Francia II.
16. Papabej II.
17. Ahi M Põ
Erzsi Kiss - voice
Árpád Vajdovich - bass guitar, ud, voice
Hunor G. Szabó - drum, percussion, guitar, kalimba, voice
Márton Sütő - guitar, accordion, voice
Linda Kovács - voice
Anna Szantner - voice
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Shahen-Shah-e-Q_awwali (The Brightest Star in Qawwali) is a title reserved for the leading voice and spirit of qawwali, the devotional music of Sufi Islam. No other term better describes the late Qawwali master.
There are great singers, and then there are those few voices that transcend time. The late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan could not only transcend time, but also language and religion. There was magic when he opened his mouth, a sense of holy ecstasy that was exciting and emotional. It wasn’t uncommon even for Western listeners, who didn’t understand a word he was singing or follow his Sufi traditions, to be moved to tears upon hearing him.
Ali Khan, who died in 1997 at the age of 48, was a Qawwali, a singer of devotional music of the Sufi sect of Islam. Trained by his father, the master singer Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, he kept up a 600-year family tradition by taking over leadership of the “party” (the general term for a Qawwali group, comprising singer, harmonium and tablas) in 1971, following recurring dreams that he was singing at the Muslim shrine of Hazratja Khawaja Moid-Ud-Din Christie in Ajmer, India (which he would eventually do).
In his improvisations, his voice would soar skyward to heaven, carrying his audience with him. While the core of his work and his life was the Sufi texts, the mystic holy poetry of the spirit, Ali Khan didn’t limit himself to that in his career. He was happy to sing the love poems known as ghazals, to perform vocal exercises, and even lend his talents to Bollywood and Hollywood, to range into ambient and dance music. But none of it was at the expense of his soul.
Throughout the ’70s and early ’80s he released literally hundreds of cassettes—trying to make order of his entire discography would be a nightmare—and his reputation grew, not only in his native Pakistan, but also internationally. The year 1985 proved to be the turning point for him, as he appeared not only at the WOMAD festival in England, but also had his performances in France recorded for an epic five-CD set that perfectly illustrated the qualities of his art. The songs stretched out, allowing Ali Khan to show his genius for extemporization, turning a sound, word or phrase over and over, examining it, flying with it, before releasing it and moving to another, using them all as enlightenment for the soul, a prayer and devotion. At his best, and his best seemed to occur often, he was like a bird, swooping and rising, his voice as free as the sky.
After Paris, the momentum gathered. He signed with Real World Records, which meant that for the first time his records would have high-profile international distribution, and released Shahen Shah, whose title came from his nickname. It wasn’t hardcore Ali Khan, but lighter and more melodic, a disc that seduced those who hadn’t heard him before.
01. Shamas-ud-doha, Badar-ud-doja
02. Allah, Mohammed, Char, Yaar
03. Kali Kali Zulfon Ke Phande Nah Dalo
04. Meri Ankhon Ko Bakhshe Hain Aansoo
05. Nit Khair Mansan Sohnia Main Teri
06. Kehna Ghalat Ghalat To Chhupana Sahi Sahi
Lead Vocals: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Chorus: Asad Ali Khan, Ghulam Fareed, Iqbal Naqbi, Mohammad Maskeen
Tabla: Dildar Hussain
Vocals: Mujahid Mubarik Ali Khan
Vocals [Pupil]: Atta Fareed
Vocals, Harmonium, Leader [Musical Director]: Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan