an entirely Northern edition, we shall dip into the Karnatic south later. the Sangeet Trio is lovely as can be... and I really love the 2 Gopal Krishan albums here: his sound is very special for me... wicked.
Sangeet Trio :
Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, guitar
Tarun Bhattacharya, santur
Renu Mojumdar, bansuri)
recorded Dec. 16, 1995, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris
"This is an unusual ensemble for Indian classical music. First of all, instead of a soloist accompanied by the tabla drums and the sitar-like tampura, there is a trio plus accompanists. The trio consists of three unusual instruments: bansuri flutes (played by Renu Mojumdar), a modified guitar (played by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt), and the Middle Eastern santur hammer dulcimer (played by Tarun Bhattacharya). The guitar is especially interesting. It has a short neck, four melody strings, three drone strings, and 12 sympathetic strings. It is played with a metal slide in a quasi "slack key" style. The slide is frequently used to bend notes in the Indian fashion, but when Bhatt resorts to more of a finger-picking style, it sounds American. The trio plays "Raja Jog" at this live concert in Paris. It is an exceedingly long raag (66 minutes), and the alap -- the opening 18-and-a-half-minute slow movement -- might be a little tedious for Western ears. The two faster sections are more engrossing. The musicians chose a raag whose intervals recall the American blues, and there is a repeated five-note figure that could almost be a jazz riff. The overall effect is more like jazz than blues. These allusions are achieved without any straining for effect, if they are indeed conscious at all. Good fun.(AMG)"
Inde du Nord: Sangeet Trio en Concert
"The vichitra veena is a slide instrument used in North Indian classical music, but it has become quite rare today. Gopal Krishan is one of only a handful of players with recordings available. I have heard them all, and I've heard all of GK's available CDs, and I believe the raga JOG on this double album is his best effort on record.
As you may or may not know, JOG is similar to the American blues scale - it uses both forms (flat/natural) of the 3rd note, and the flat is a pretty high flat, just like in the blues. It's a nice effect to hear something so like a slide guitar play something so like the blues - so like, and yet so unlike ...
G.K. is very fond of LAYAKARI, playing around with the rhythm, and he does it a lot here in JOG. Tabla player is Latif Ahmed Khan of Dehli gharana, student of ustad Gami Khan, and he has played good solid Dehli style. Tabla sound is good, not the least tinny. He has not played any Zakir Hussain fireworks, just good accompaniment with communication and togetherness with GK in layakari parts. You will be hearing them both make small mouth noises on various "SAM" points; this recording comes very much alive. Interestingly, ALAP is comparatively speaking pretty fast and GAT is comparatively slow tempo, though ending with some JHALLA.
(Gopal Krishan by the way learnt from his father, called Nand Kishor, later with Gwalior gharana teacher Khubchand Bramchari - his rival on the vichitra veena Dr Mustafa Raza plays Gwalior style - and finally went to Ravi Shankar. So the style he plays here reminds of Ravishankar more then Gwalior, hence the layakari. He plays I think a total of 4-6 slightly out-of-tune notes in JOG - he's human! he's human! (Amazon Reviewer)"
India: Gopal Krishan - Inde du Nord, L'Art de la Vichitra Vîna
DISC 1 DISC 2-A DISC 2-B
Gopal Krisnan - Dhrupad et Khyal
Inde du Nord - Raga Bhairav – Sarod - Partho Sarothy: PART A PART B