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The Essential Collection

Pandit VG. Jog

Tabla Player
Zakir Hussain (Pandit)

About this album

Pandit V.G.Jog is one of India's most distinguished and popular musicians. Born in Maharashtra some 75 years ago, he had his early training from Shankarrao Athavle, Ganpatrao Purohit and V.Shastri. V.G.Jog is best known however as a student of two of the great musician - teachers of the twentieth century, Dr S.N.Ratanjankar and Ustad Allauddin Khan. With his grounding in the Gwalior, Agra and Bakhle idioms of khyal singing, and familiarity with the distinctive instrumental techniques pioneered by Ustad Allauddin Khan, Pandit Jog was able to successfully develop an individual violin style.

Ustad Allauddin Khan, although better known to many for his prowess as a sarod player, was also of course an accomplished violinst, and a major inspiration in this capacity to the young Jog. Yet, despite his own teacher championing the instrument, and other precursors going back to the late nineteenth century, the violin had always found much less acceptance in Hindustani music than in the Carnatic tradition. Pandit Jog is therefore responsible, to a great extent, for consolidating the place of the violin as a concert instrument in North Indian music.

Pandit Jog has been closely associated with many of this century's great musicians. Besides his distinguished teachers, the young artist had opportunities to play with some of the great vocalists of his time - artists of the stature of Faiyaz Khan, Omkarnath Thakur, Bade Ghulam ALi Khan, Amir Khan, Kesarbai Kerkar, Hirabai Barodekar and Begum Akhtar on the way to establishing his own independent reputation.

Since those days, Pandit Jog's highly successful career has taken in many concert tours in India and abroad, and numerous published recording; but his musical activities cover a wider spectrum than those of most of his contemporaries. He has been associated with a number of educational institutions in his time, as both teacher and advisor, including the Bhatkhande University of Music in Lucknow, the Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta and the Ali Akbar College of Music in California.

He was also a music producer for All India Radio for many years, reaching the rank of Deputy Chief Producer by the time of his retirement. His numerous awards include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and Padma Bhushan (the latter awarded in 1983).

This recording is issued in honor of the 75th birthday celebrations of Pandit V.G.Jog, on 14th December 1996. The music presented here was recorded live on one of Pandit Jog's European tours, at Logan Hall, University of London, on 10th October 1981. It features two pieces, a full presentation of Rag Kirwani and a lighter item, a well-known Banarasi Kajri. Pandit Jog is accompanied by the inimitable table maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. As so often, the latter displays here his gift for bringing out the best in a soloist with his dynamic yet supportive playing, besides taking several opportunities to show a little of his genius as a soloist.


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