Yin to Yang: Pandit Nikhil Bannerjee

Tibetan Yin Yang Mandala

 

Nikhil Banerjee was the yin to Ravi Shankar’s yang. Both were students of Allaudin Khan, and Banerjee continued his studies under the guidance of Khan’s son, Ali Akbar Khan. While Shankar prefers the razzle-dazzle and vigor of the gat, Banerjee is at home in the slow unfolding of the meditative alap. This album’s first raga, Chandrakaush, while limited to merely 20 minutes, allows full appreciation of its unusual pentatonic scale and late night mood. Banerjee‘s improvisations are beautiful and lyrical. He performs this work solo, but in the second raga, Khamaj, he is joined by Mahapurush Misra, a brilliant tablist who helped make Ali Akbar Khan’s Connoisseur/Signature Recordings so memorable. The selected rhythm cycle for the first gat is rupak tal, seven beats, and then closes with 16-beat teental. This often played raga of the early evening is lighter, more romantic in mood than the deep spiritual feeling of the first piece. Together, they provide an album of greatness. Now, consider this: these ragas were recorded live-to-air on the radio in the USA in 1967. Historic in many ways. (Dr. Debra Jan Bibel )

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Track Listing:
01. Raga Chandrakaush

02. Raga Khamaj

 

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