Welcome to my annual mid-August tradition, remembering the late master of Qawwali, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. This has been an essential part of my show since his death on August 16, 1997. Like many people, Nusrat and Qawwali was my first introduction to Sufi music, and almost every Sufi musical tradition found throughout the Islamic world has become a favourite of mine. Many aspects of music I find most compelling are epitomized in Nusrat's music and are common in Sufi music in general: the extraordinary control and manipulation of emotional and musical tension, the sometimes slow but inevitable progression to extreme, carthatic emotional release which gives the music an extraordinary momentum. These are features I find in music of Bach, Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler etc. They are also common in many of the larger musical traditions in which Sufi music is found, Indian, Arabic, Persian, Central-Asian, but they often find their most extreme expression in the specific Sufi traditions. Besides some wonderful pieces by Nusrat, we will hear some music of another great master. Another Sufi singer who for me, is the equal of Nusrat. However, despite being very well known and popular in his home country, his recordings are virtually non-existent outside. Even despite the power of the internet, it is extremely hard to find recordings on the internet. I know, I have been searching for years and it's hard to find anything besides a few brief snippets on Youtube. His name is Sheikh Yasin Al-Tuhami from Egypt. I know him from one amazing 1998 live CD from Paris. He has toured in Europe and North Africa, but he mainly stays in Egypt where he is very active in the living tradition of Munshidin, singing at religious gatherings, festivals, and private parties. I have found a number of live recordings from these, but they are amateur, enthusiast recordings made at these type of musical events. Similiar to Nusrat, Sheikh Yasin makes extraordinary use of his powerful, versatile voice to manipulate tension, he uses an enormous range of techniques, sudden and dramatic shifts in tempo and dynamics to lead the audience on an extreme emotional journey to end in ecstatic, cathartic release. We hear one of the best of these amateur recordings I have found, though the sound is still far from ideal, it is still extraordinary, powerful, beautiful music.
Cheikh Lo - Hommage a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Network
|Ek Nazar Meri Taraf Ho|
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Ishq Ka Afsaana - SCI
|Allah hoo Allah Hoo|
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Live At Islamabad - M.I.L.
Yasin Al-Tuhami - live from 2008
|Sakana L-Fu'Ad Fa'Ish Hanian Ya Jasad|
Sheikh Hamza Shakkur & Julien Jalal Al-Din Weiss - Hommage a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Network