January 31, 2015

Ravi Shankar: Music From India Series (No. 4) 1967

What can one really say about Ravi Shankar that has not been said many times before, and much better? Nothing. He is and always will be the best known Indian Classical musician. Heck, even my mother knows who Ravi Shankar was. (She also knows other sitarists, but that is a story for another time).

This delightful album was recorded and released by EMI in 1967.

Tabla is by the ever capable and always reliable Alla Rakha. Kamala plays tanpura. "Kamala" means "Lotus," I think.

Equipment used in transfer: 
Turntable: Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.

Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24/44.1 resolution
Software: Audacity to normalize and convert to 16/44.1 as well as xAct to convert to flac and mp3





January 25, 2015

Ram Narayan: Plays Sarangi

Ram Narayan was born near Udaipur on the 25th of December 1927. He popularized the sarangi as a solo concert instrument and became the first internationally successful sarangi player.
He moved to Delhi following the partition of India in 1947 and then moved to Mumbai in 1949 to work in Indian cinema. He became a concert solo artist in 1956, and later gave up accompaniment. He was awarded India's second highest civilian honor, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2005.

This is a delightful out of print LP on loan from my friend N.O.

Tabla by Manik Rao Popatkar.

Equipment used in transfer: 
Turntable: Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.

Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24/96 resolution
Software: Audacity to normalize and convert to 16/44.1 as well as xAct to convert to flac and mp3






January 17, 2015

Nikhil Banerjee: Raga Desh live in Stockholm, 1983 (recorded 1979)

Could I start this blog off with anyone other than Nikhil Banerjee (14 October 1931 - 27 January 1986)? I don't see how that could happen. He is by far my favorite musician of any kind. There is a deep and soulful aspect of his playing which is both exhilarating and calming at the same time.

Known for his exquisite and extended alap sections, Nikhil-ji seems to have an unerring sense of how much of an alap a certain raga requires. It's not just about playing for "As Long As Possible" (as sitarist Josh Feinberg once jokingly described an alap) but rather playing for the "exact right amount of time" and introducing and developing the notes of the raga in just the right way.

Banerjee definitely had a reputation as a skilled performer during his lifetime, but after his sudden and untimely death in 1986 -- and the subsequent issues on CD of extended live performances -- his reputation has shot upwards.

This 1983 LP on Oriental Records (New York, NY) is a reissue of the same LP on Amigo Records.

Tabla by Anindo Chatterjee

An excellent web page devoted to Nikhil-ji:

http://staff.spd.dcu.ie/johnbcos/Nikhil_Banerjee.htm






Welcome to this blog!

Welcome!

My intention for this blog is to post information related to Indian Classical music (ICM); specifically, that music which has been recorded from 1903-1993 and distributed on vinyl LPs and audio cassettes and which is in danger of being lost forever as the master tapes slowly disintegrate and/or go missing.

Occasionally there will be links to other websites and blogs featuring articles on ICM, and also information on current recording and touring activities of musicians.

There will be no ads on this blog. I will not receive any income whatsoever for any activities related to this blog, unless I specifically state otherwise. In fact, quite the opposite --  most of these LPs and cassettes have been purchased by me on the international secondary market at current prices (which are surprisingly high in some cases) and any time spent on the blog is time that I am not able to earn money. It is my honor to help this music survive as long as possible!

Thanks very much for your attention!