Thursday, 5 January 2017

The great Sitar player Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (1927-2017) passed away on 4th of january 2017. May he rest in peace.

Another great musician passed away on the 4th of january 2017, one of whom I was particularly fond: Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (1927-2017). 
Over the years we posted nine LPs and a set of two cassettes by him. See here. Here we post in his memory a copy of a cassette from 1989. Our friend KF made a CD out of this cassette.

In 2015 Meera Music in Mumbai published two CDs with archival recordings:

Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (Sitar) – Sitar: Raga Abhogi (51:29), Raga Chakradhun (27:32), MEERA MUSIC, mm 121
Wonderful recording by the great Sitar master. Excellent live recordings from 1968. Unbelievably fluid Sitar performance. Outstanding.

Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan (Sitar) – Sitar: Raga Kedar (50:34), Raga Gorakh Kalyan (27:21), MEERA MUSIC, mm 120
Beautiful live recording by the great Sitar master. First published years ago by MUSICIAN'S GUILD.

As always, these CDs can be obtained from:

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan (1935-2017), the great singer of the Patiala Gharana, passed away on 4th of january 2017. May he rest in peace.

Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, the legendary and very charismatic singer of the Patiala Gharana and grandson of one of the two founders of the Gharana, passed away on the 4th of january 2017. Sometimes he was called Bade (older) Fateh Ali Khan in order to distinguish him from other singers who carry the same name. We present here in his memory some archival recordings. I don't remember anymore from whom I received these recordings. Our friend KF made a double CD out of them. I always was very fond of his deeply emotional voice and listened to many of his recordings literally hundreds of times. He has quite a number of LPs, cassettes and CDs released in Pakistan (nearly impossible to get outside of Pakistan), India, Germany, France and England. Some of them are available from:

We posted already several cassettes by him in 2013 here and 2015 here (see there more information on the artist), here and here.

There exists a wonderful portrait - The True Ustad - by Ally Adnan, originally published in The Friday Times in Pakistan in 2013. I made a pdf-file out of it. It can be downloaded here:

Comment on 7th of january 2017
The last couple of days I listened several times again to the Megh and Malkauns posted here. These two ragas were - together with Darbari - the favourite ragas of the Ustad and his renditions of them were legendary. I have to say, that even after decades of knowing the music of Fateh Ali Khan, I'm still each time blown away by the sheer intoxicating beauty of these recordings. For me it is an absolute summit of beauty and deep emotion. But, to tell the truth: there are quite a number of summits in Pakistani and Indian Raga music.
What also contributes to it is the exquisite Sarangi and Tabla accompaniment. Unsurpassable indeed. Very particular to Pakistani recordings of that period is that the Sarangi starts the rendition and lays down the atmosphere of the Raga. Only then the singer enters. In India this would be unthinkable. Pakistan always had in the past quite a number of outstanding Sarangiyas: Ustads Nathu Khan, Hamid Hussain Khan, Nabi Bakhsh, Ghulam Mohammad Khan and a few others. In the near future we will post more LPs by some of these great Sarangi masters.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Akagündüz Kutbay (1934-1979) - Mevlana - Instrumental Dervish Music - LP published in Turkey in the 1970s


About the artist see: Wikipedia and Facebook

In 2009 Kalan released a wonderful set of two CDs in a small book:

Aka Gündüz Kutbay (1934-1979) – Ask – 30 yilin özlemiyle…, Book (English text included) + 2 CD: CD 1: Segah Taksim (4:12), Ferahfeza Bas Taksim (Ayinden) (7:02), Acem-Asiran Müsterek Taksim (5:18), Saba Müsterek Taksim (3:01), Saba Pesrev (Osman Bey) (1:57), Saba Seyir (0:57), Hicaz - Saba - Ferahfeza Taksim (6:25), Müstear Taksim (1:30), Rast Seyir (0:53), Hüseyni'den Isfahan'a Geçis Taksimi (3:56), Buselik-Asiran Taksim (2:04), Bayati Taksim (9:34), Saba taksim (3:36), Saba - Ferahfeza - Rast Taksim (8:55), Hüzzam'dan Segah'a Geçis Taksimi (5:42), Müstear'dan Ussak'a Geçis Taksimi (4:40), Saba Bas Taksimi (Ayinden) (4:45), CD 2: Pençgah Bas Taksim (Ayinden) (6:24), Segah Taksim (7:22), Hicaz Pesrev (Veli Dede) (4:07), Hicaz Taksim (3:08), Muhayyer-Sünbüle Taksim (2:21), Nisabur - Ussak Taksim (1:08), Hicaz Müsterek Taksim (1:30), Nihavend Taksim (4:09), Saba'dan Rast'a Geçis Taksimi (2:50), Eviç'den Segah'a Geçis Taksimi (1:24), Evcara Taksim (3:51), Segah Seyir (1:36), Ussak'tan Hicaz'a Geçis Taksimi (8:53), Segah Taksim 2 (2:27), Kürdilihicazkar Taksim (1:15), Rast Taksim (4:20), Segah'tan Rast'a Geçis Taksimi (6:06), Ferahfeza Son Taksim (Ayinden) (1:51), Suzidil Taksim (3:46), Buselik Saz-Semaisi (Beste: Mutlu Torun) (5:33), KALAN, 481-482
Aka Gündüz Kutbay was the most outstanding Ney player of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Excellent recordings. Two CDs in a bilingual (Turkish & English) book of 119 pages.

And another one, together with the legendary singer Kani Karaca:

Kani Karaca (1930-2004) (Vocal) & Aka Gündüz Kutbay (1934-1979) – Mesk - …tükenmeyen istiyak, Book (English text included) + 2 CD, CD 1: Kar-i Natik (Hatibzade Osman Efendi) (29:55), Makam Tarifi (1:59), Eviç-Buselik Taksim (1:40), Eviç-Buselik I. Beste (Ismail Dede) (7:58), Eviç-Buselik II. Beste (Ismail Dede) (2:42), Eviç-Buselik Agir Semai (Ismail Dede) (3:35), Eviç-Buselik Nakis Yürük-Semai (Ismail Dede) (6:08), Hicaz Durak (Haci Arif Bey) (6:37), Nühüft Durak (Güfte: Niyazi Misri, Beste: Ali Sir ü Gani) (4:04), Ferahfeza Sarki (Fehmi Tokay) (3:13), CD 2: Sultani-Irak Taksim (1:53), Sultani-Irak I. Beste (Abdülhalim Aga) (7:35), Sultani-Irak II. Beste (Küçük Mehmed Aga) (6:25), Sultani-Irak Agir-Semai (Abdülhalim Aga) (5:53), Sultani-Irak Nakis Yürük-Semai (Küçük Mehmed Aga) (8:00), Sevk-u Tarab Mevlevi-Ayini (Ismail Dede Efendi) (22:48), Bayati Beste (Moris Kordova) / Ibranice (5:30), Hüzzam Beste / Ibranice (4:15), Segah Sarki (Kani Karaca) (3:45), Kürdilihicazkar Sarki (Kani Karaca) (3:40), KALAN, 483-484
“Mesk” means: master/apprentice relationship. “After Hafiz Ali Efendi and Sadettin Kaynak, Kani Karaca was greatly indebted to Sadettin Heper for a great portion of his musical education. When Heper began to grow old, he encouraged Karaca to continue practicing the music he had taught him with Aka Gündüz Kutbay. There, as he sang the songs he had learned from Heper, Kutbay would serve as Karaca’s “eyes” and together they worked with many pieces. Through the pieces they sang they would do a “makam analysis” and strive to perfect their performance. These “Harbiye Mesks”, with tea and food served by Süheyla Kutbay, would last until late into the night, and were sometimes attended by Abdi Coskun (Tanbur) as well.
Returning from a concert abroad, Aka Gündüz Kutbay brought an AKAI brand tape recorder of recording studio quality, with which he recorded a portion of the pieces he worked on with Karaca in his home.”
Kani Karaca, the legendary blind singer of the Whirling Dervishes, other forms of Sufi music, old classical Makam music and at the same time a famous Qur’an reciter,  was the last great singer of old style Turkish Maqam music - both classical and Sufi – with an immense repertoire of old compositions and outstanding vocal melismatic qualities. Aka Gündüz Kutbay was the most outstanding Ney player of the 2nd half of the 20th century. Excellent recordings of a rare old repertoire. Two CDs in a bilingual (Turkish & English) book of 83 pages.

As always, these can be obtained from

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Flutes Orientales Sacrées des Derviches Tourneurs - LP published in 1971 in France

Here a LP of music of the Whirling Dervishes which was wide spread in the 1970s and which sticks out by the participation of two outstanding musicians: the Ney player Hayri Tümer and the singer Münir Nurettin Selçuk (1900-1981). 
On Münir Nurettin Selçuk see: 
On Hayri Tümer see our post of a LP here.
For me Hayri Tümer is the greatest Ney player I ever heard. His music has something like an extra dimension. It is like blazing flames. Unfortunately he is today forgotten.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Rambod Sodeyf (رامبد صدیف) (born 1939) - Concert in Cologne on 3rd of April 1992 broadcast by WDR in 1992

Here the second recording by the great master of Avaz (see the preceding post).

Here the corrected files:

Many thanks to KF for the recording and creating the covers.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Rambod Sodeyf (رامبد صدیف) (born 1939) & Majid Kiani - Tarji'band: Dastgah-e Chahargah - Cassette published in Iran in the 1980s

Rambod Sodeyf is one of the three greatest singers in Iran in the last 50 years, the other two being Mohammad Reza Shajarian (born 1940) and Hatam Asgari Farahani (born 1933). None of the other Iranian singers masters the vocal art of Avaz in such a complete way as these three. Shajarian is universally well known and has published over 30 CDs and a couple of DVDs. The other two are only known to some connoisseurs. Hatam Asgari Farahani insisteded up to recently that his privately done recordings should be exclusively for his students. Only recently the legendary Iranian label Mahoor published four CDs (partly boxes of several CDs). All these CDs and DVDs can be obtained outside of Iran from: We posted a set of four cassettes by Hatam Asgari (Askari) Farahani in 2011 here. Recently we also posted a cassette by Shajarian here.
Rambod Sodeyf always refused to be recorded. As far as I know the reason seems to be that he is convinced, as also Hatam Asgari Farahani, that the exquisit art of Iranian Avaz (classical non-metric vocal improvisation) is an art which has to be recreated in each performance newly and therefore should not be fixed, neither by being written down nor by recordings. Only once, the great Santur player Majid Kiani was able to convince Sodeyf to make a recording with him. This is the recording we present here.
Luckily there is one more recording, done by WDR, the Western German broadcasting, which recorded in 1992 a concert in Cologne. This one we will post next.
It is a pity that there are no other recordings. At least now in his old age he should consent to be recorded, as otherwise his music will get lost once he passes away. But maybe there are some good Mehfil recordings or a Radif which might emerge one day.
Rambod Sodeyf has learned from some of the greatest singers of the 20th century: the outstanding Soleyman Amir Qasemi (Ghasemi) (1884-1976), also known as Salim Khan, the towering Eqbal Azar (1866-1970) and the great Radif teacher Abdollah Davami (1891-1980). CDs by these singers can be obtained from:
Here is a link from which one can download some other concert recordings by Sodeyf, unfortunately in poor sound quality:
He has his own music school in Ardebil in Iranian Azerbaijan.