Rare picks of 2009

Before entering into the new year it would be a great idea to listen to a few songs sung by some non conventional singers. All the artists featured here are great achievers of their chosen art form. Ustad Bundu Khan, was probably the most outstanding Sarangi player during the first half of the 20th century. After migrating to Pakistan during the partition in 1947, he continued to play the Sarangi till his death in 1955. His son, Umrao Bundu Khan has continued his musical tradition. Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar are considered to be the best Sitar players of all-time. Who was better between the two is a matter of undying debate. Pandit Birju Maharaj is the undisputed emperor of Kathak dance.

Umrao Khan – Gaud Sarang – Sundar Naar Karat Singar :  Download

Birju Maharaj – Pahadi – Chhoro Chhoro Bihari :  Download

Vilayat Khan – Bhairavi Bandish :  Download

Ravi Shankar & Others – Hey Nath :  Download

I wish you all a very happy, prosperous and musical 2010 !!


Four droplets of Excellence

Every now and then one comes across small clips of excellent songs, tiny droplets from the vast ocean, which the world of hindustani classical music indeed is. The fuller versions either do not exist or the songs were not meant to be recorded for commercial purpose. The one by Zarina Begum is an amateur recording, sung by her when she was about 90 years old, simply for the benefit of an ardent fan. She is one of the remaining few from the courtesan era of the British Raj. She is playing the Harmonium herself, while Qurban Hussain, her husband, plays the Tabla. The recording was done at her one room house in Lucknow. Birju Maharaj, as we all know, is a renowned Kathak dancer. Very few know that he is an excellent singer too.

Zarina Begum – Najar Laagi Raja Tore Bangle Par :  Download

Birju Maharaj – Jane De Maika :  Download

Asad Amanat Ali Khan – Piya Bin Lage Nahi Jiya :  Download

Mehdi Hassan – Kaase Kahun Mori Sajani :  Download