Sitar & Surbahar: Indian Music for Meditation & Love
Ustad Imrat Khan comes from a family of North Indian classical musicians: a number of his maternal and paternal forebears were instrumentalists and singers, and his great-grandfather, Ustad Sahebdad Khan, developed the surbahar, sometimes referred to as the bass sitar. Imrat Khan plays both sitar and the surbahar, and his approach to the instruments is influenced by South Asian singing traditions. He is joined by his son, Shafaat Miadaad Khan, on tabla on one of the album’s two pieces, both of which are intended for evening performance. “Rag Jog,” a meditative work played by Imrat Khan on unaccompanied surbahar, features a lovely performance of the alap section—the opening part of a raga where the player improvises in free-time within certain parameters. Eventually the piece moves into the section known as the jor, where a beat is introduced, before the track fades out. The romantic “Rag Saraswati” finds Imrat Khan on sitar and his son on tabla. After a short alap, the lengthy vilambit gat section showcases the fine interplay between the drums and the sitar. This album, which originally came out as an LP in early 1980s, is a welcome addition to any collection of Indian classical music.