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Navaratna The Great Masters Vol 2

Ustad Amir Khan

Tabla Player
Gobinda Bose
Harmonium Player
Pandit Gyan Prakash Ghosh

About this album

'Ananya' is a Sanskrit word and it means 'like no other', or unique, incomparable. It is a fitting title to describe Ustad Amir Khan Saheb, one of India's greatest musicians, certainly is very privileged to bring out the first in a series of titles of this great vocalist in our Navras Nav-Ratna Series, celebrating the greatest masters of Indian Classical Music. He is one of those rare individuals who have left an indelible mark on classical music in the way it is performed and appreciated, not just as regards vocal music but also instrumental music. A greatly respected artiste, Ustad Amir Khan was a musician's musician because of his unique technical style and strong spiritual approach to his music. He was not bound by the limitations of any one Gharana (music family or tradition), while he absorbed all that was good and unique in various traditions. He experimented with many technicalities and took them to a level of greater awareness and appreciation by music-lovers.

The great Sitarist, late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee described him as 'A great thinker and a composer who was capable of translating his ideas into practice. At every stage of his life he was attempting a bold experiment and striving for perfection. He had a total command over the intrinsic purity of the classical formula of music but tat never made him a conservative. He had the originality to defy the worn out conventional cannons of the khayal gayaki (the khayal vocal style) and to maintain a constructive approach towards the aesthetic beauty of a performance'.

Nikhil Banerjee continues 'music with Amir Khan saheb was a spiritual spursuit - something which by awakening in our mind the image of beauty and harmony keeps the suggestion of eternal truth. He sought to concentrate within himself and conceive the raga image as the mother conceives the child and attained the profound meaning of the raga. It is this philosophy of music which places him in the spiritual tradition to which history stands witness'.

He was truly 'Ananya' and the world of Hindustani classical music will look back for ages to come and marvel that such a voice and style exists - especially as so far no one has been able to quite achieve it, let alone emulate it. He was one of a kind, the like of which will not likely be seen for quite some time to come. It will be our continuing aim and a fervent desire to keep locating his most memorable works and bring these out for the music lovers to savor the celestial music of this great vocalist who was taken away from us through tragic and untimely death.

In this introductory double album, we present two compact discs, containing four ragas, Yaman, Hamsadhwani, Puriya and Abhogi. The original recording quality is not always quite exemplary, but we have made considerable efforts towards removing hiss and improving the sound quality and balance, to make for a reasonably acceptable audio quality. The recordings are taken from archival material. The details of dates, venues and the accompanying musicians are not available.

Tracks

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