2008/04/08

Bismillah Khan & Vilayat Khan

another repost: 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

(sorry last song is cut off. i got it like that)

13 comments:

Colin said...

With that description I am so there.

Colin said...

Wait, so when does this date from? Do you know?

Colin said...

Jeez, read the post Colin … sorry. Just excited!

Anonymous said...

do you happen to have the track order handy? they're not numbered...

Jengiz said...

A Rare Jugalbandi:-

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=L1XE5M1S

zhao said...

wots this then?

gnarland said...

diff' waters, you are a sunbeam. thank you for sharing!

Smekermann said...

While this is a really awesome jugalbandi, I feel the comments by your friend are sorta out of place. Vilayat Khan doesn't sound like he "doesn't give a fuck", his soloing is sometimes pretty raw, but I never felt that he played over Bismillah Khan at any point. He sometimes completes the lines Bismillah Khan starts, especially noticeable during the "theme" of the Bhairavi, but I never felt he was in any way disrespectful.

Regardless, I'd love to get my hands on more early Vilayat Khan. I found another Vilayat Khan/Bismillah Khan jugalbandi album, called Duets from India, from 1967 on the BwT forums, but registrations are closed so I can't register. Anyone have a rip of that?

I found another Vilayat Khan/Imrat Khan/Bismillah Khan album on some blog, but the links were dead. The album was called Inspiration: India and it apparently is a reissue of some of Vilayat Khan's duets with his brother before their falling out (the only ones that are known to exist). Anybody know of a working link?

Anirban & Sujata said...

Will you please please post the other early Vilayat Khan pieces that you have mentioned ? Wonderful blog, an amazing richness of music and culture. Please keep it going.

Anonymous said...

can you PLEASE upload that show where he's playing really fuckin' fast. thx! love the sounds of sitar

Niyogi Books said...

http://www.niyogibooks.com/glpcat/clnt_cat_ep.pl?pcid=61641&cloc=10147456_10409114_12408394

Anonymous said...

http://www.niyogibooks.com/glpcat/clnt_cat_ep.pl?pcid=61641&cloc=10147456_10409114_12408394

Bismillah Khan – Maestro from Benaras” is a book that gives the reader an insightful look into the home and heart, muse and music of one of the greatest artists that India has produced.

Anonymous said...

is there a way i can still download this recordings? cant download it anymore from here :-(