February 18, 2018

Bismillah Khan and VG Jog: Shehnai and Violin [EASD 1322] an LP recorded and released in India in 1968

It's been about a year since I have had the pleasure of listening to the sweet shehnai of Bismillah Khan. It's easy to see why he was one of the most widely beloved musicians of his generation. I remain convinced that VG Jog was truly underrated as a performer. These two musicians make this jugalbandi album a treat throughout.

Sometimes jugalbandi concerts are a bit tame and predictable, but this LP shows two veteran musicians who are in tune with each other, both reacting sensitively to each other in real time. Neither appears interested in dominating the other or just coasting and playing it safe.

With the wonderful tabla playing by Kanai Dutta, informative and brief liner notes, and a goofy illustration on the cover, this album is one of my favorites. I purchased it online from a seller who only had a few Indian Classical LPs, but they were all in mint condition. 

side one: Raga Todi
side two: Raga Durga and a Dhun

shehnai: Bismillah Khan
violin: VG Jog
tabla: Kanai Dutta

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in water.
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct


  1. Thank you, Richard! The shehnai's tone is not one that is particularly sonorous to my ears so it's taking some effort to learn to enjoy the instrument. It might sound strange, but your hi res rips are a big help in this regard. Having a chance to hear B. Khan's playing in it's full glory is a gift for which I can't thank you enough.

  2. We have been having the most beautiful weather here in Los Angeles (early spring). I worked in the garden all day. In the most beautiful part of the golden afternoon the download of this marvelous album finished.

    I extracted it and blasted through some portable bluetooth speakers it while I continued to work out front. It was beautiful. Perhaps I was a little loud?

    Then I saw a gentleman leaving the open house next door. He was almost in his car (across the street) when--at the last moment--he pulled himself back out of his car and started heading my way.

    For a moment, I wondered if i'd been unfair in blasting what might be unfamiliar music for many ears.

    As the man approached he said: May I ask you what is that beautiful music you are listing to?

    I was very happy and pointed him to this website.



    1. William, that is a great story!

      It always amazes me how many musicians and "ordinary folk" in the US are enthusiastically embracing Indian music.

      In my fair village, the Hindustani concerts (except for the big-name "stars" of the field) are about 50/50 Indian, or perhaps 40/60 Indian attendees. There's a different situation for the Carnatic concerts, because these are not advertised or marketed very well -- they seem to mostly provide a social event for Telugu, Malayalam, and Tamil speakers. I give the South Indians in town a lot of credit, though, for deeply loving their music come what may. If some nice young lady from Chennai they've never heard of before wants to sing for four hours -- almost all are going to sit until the end no matter what.

      I have met several young instrumentalists of so-called folk and so-called rock music tell me about the amazing Indian music they have been discovering online. That and stories such as yours give me hope about the future of this music, if only the sounds scan survive the onslaught of time!

    2. You make me realize I could avail myself of more opportunities for seeing Hindustani classical musical myself.

      For now, my deepest thanks for deepening my exposure to music I'm loving.

      Great transfers like yours will help assure this music lasts into the future. What isn't disseminated will be lost. I always get the 24 bit files with an eye to the future and preserving this music in the best possible quality.

      My sincerest thanks for what you do!


  3. Hello Richard! Huge Accolades to you! It is impressive to know that Americans too have started recognizing the ancient Indian music. I appreciate you for making these precious LPs available to the world. Probably I had told you in the past that some of your collections are NOT that easily available in India, especially the LPs. While going to NDSU for PhD between 2003-10, I guess I started appreciating richness of classical music. Yes! South Indians still have maintained their music. Great shares as usual!

    May I please request you to rip in 32 bits? I think using Audacity, one could rip these LPs in the highest format. Personally, I believe in the quality. Gone are those artists who have contributed their art. Now, it's the turn of new generation to preserve their work in highest possible format. Pl. give a shot.

    Thank you again,



  4. Hello All,

    If anybody is interested in Indian Bollywood music especially Vinyls, pl. do visit this blog. http://xicecybervila.blogspot.in More rips could be found in COMMENTS section under each album.



  5. Hello Richard,

    You are doing a superb work! These LPs are beyond reach for most of the Indians WITHIN India. I appreciate your wholehearted efforts of making these gems available to music lovers.

    If possible, pl. rip these LPs in 32 bit FLAC. It is somewhat impossible to get this kind of quality in CDs here in India. The sound engineers probably subdue the vinyl effects. AUDACITY software could allow you to do so. One of my online music lover friend rips his Bollywood LPs in 32 bits. If interested, I may ask him the details/steps.

    Thank you again,