Reviews and pictures from Sietse's record collection
At the time this LP came out on Mississippi Records I actually missed out on it. I did put an order but was too late. Though, begin this year there was a CD release of this album on Important Records which I picked up because my interest was already triggered by this vinyl LP earlier. At that time I wasn’t aware it was the same release as this vinyl, so when I came across this at the record fair at the annual KRAAK festival in Belgium.
When I put this on I directly noticed it was the same as the CD (which has found a new home at friend now), which isn’t mentioned on the Important Records website. Though, this is pretty much irrelevant to the music.
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872-1937) is seen as one of the best singers of all time, with a tremendous voice that knows no equal. Though, before he started a career of singing he also played an instrument called the sarangi, a stringed instrument played with bow. Not that I know how he played this instrument, but the career switch seems a good one to me. Abdul Karim Khan has a really special voice, which even on these old recordings from 1934 and 1935 sounds way out there. He has a wide range in his voice which is quite unreal. And there is a lot of emotion in that it really touches, also without knowing what is sung about. Take for example the track Anand Bhairavi: Uigicha ka kanta ganjila which has some great melodies in it created with the voice. It delivers me shivers, in a good way.
The LP comes with a booklet with the life story of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan written by Ian Nagoski who also compiled the album and restored the recordings.
You can listen to some samples at the Important Records website.
Gujri Todi: Beguna Guna Ga
Jhinjhoti thumri: Piya Bin Nahin Avata Chain
Vinyl LP has been sold-out for quite sometime now, but you can still get the CD version on Important Records