Remembering the Big Man: Rahat Ali Khan and Michael Brooks

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An interesting album with some truly moving and exhilarating performances. As I mentioned in my most recent article for Scroll.in it was through a remix of one of Nusrat’s qawwalis (Dam Qalandar Mast) in the early 1990s that qawwali went mainstream. Or at least as mainstream as any non-European spiritual music is ever going to go!

Canadian guitarist Michael Brook, though uncredited on Mustt Mustt, played a huge role in creating the sound and ensuring the massive impact of that album on the earholes of millions of new fans. He later went on to produce (and get credited for) Night Songs another hugely popular qawwali-fusion album in 1996.

In this instance, a performance in honour of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the combination of qawwali and western music just doesn’t click like in the earlier works. The drums especially are irritating, adding little more than an annoying rumble in the background that distracts from Rahat’s voice and the performance of his ‘party’.

In her introduction Jameela Siddiqi makes special thanks to Michael for taking ‘time out of his very busy schedule’ to participate. And I, for one, can’t help but feel that while his body took the time his heart was somewhere else. Then again, this is a recording of a live event. Maybe being there was more impressive than listening to the music disconnected from its performance.

As for Rahat he is in very fine voice raising the roof throughout the evening. I never tire of marveling at how this guy can sing. It sends shivers down the back as he builds up the tension like water pressing hard against a cracked earthen dam. The water recedes slightly before coming flooding back and ultimately breaking free. Track number 4 is a perfect case in point.

For what it’s worth, this is a definitely a good album. Just find a way to ignore the drums and lackluster noodlings of Brook.

Here are the translated lyrics of the title track.

Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

How beautiful the lord has created you!

Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

O Dil Karray Vekhda Ravaan

How beautiful the lord has created you

And my heart desires to keep gazing at you

Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

How beautiful the lord has created you!

Dil Murrda Nahi Laakh Samjhaya

Dil Karray Vekhda Ravaan

My heart halts not even with thousands of reasons

And instead it desires to keep gazing at you

O Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

How beautiful the lord has created you!

Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

How beautiful the lord has created you!

Dil Vich Tera Pyar Vassake

Vekkhi Javaan Kol Bithakke

Your love is dwelling within my heart

And I want to gaze endlessly nearby you

O Tainu Dil Walay Sheeshay Vich Sajaaya

Dil Karray Vekhda Ravaan

You are bejewelled within the mirrors of my heart

And my heart desires to keep gazing at you

O Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

How beautiful the lord has created you!

Pyar Tera Ae Zindagi Meri

Karni Ae Mein Pooja Teri

Your love is my existence

And you alone I adore

Tainu Akhiyan De Vich Mein Vassaya

Dil Karray Vekhda Ravaan

I have let you sink within my eyes

And my heart desires to keep gazing at you

O Kinna Sohna Tainu Rab Ne Banaya

How beautiful the lord has created you!

Kinna Sohna_ Live Tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Track Listing:

01 Introduction-Jameela Siddiqi

02 Crest (Shaman Paiyan Tere Bina)

03 Nothing Without You (Sanu Ik Pal Chain Na Aave)

04 My Heart My Life (Tu Mera Dil Tu Meri Jaan)

05 My Comfort Remains (Sun Yaara Gum Khara Dildara)

06 Err (Tarana – A Tribute)

07 Mustt Mustt (Dam Mast Qallandar)

08 Jiya Dhadak Dhadak Jaaye

09 Kinna Sohna Tenu Rab Na Banaya

10 Chaap Tilak Sab Cheeni

KS

 

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