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The Quest CD - Wajahat Khan - FREE SHIPPING
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Son and nephew of the legendary Indian musicians Ustad Imrat Khan and Ustad Vilayat Khan, his family traces its origins back 400 years through a line of celebrated musicians to the court of the great Moghul Emperor Akbar in the 16th century. Belonging to the eighth generation, he started his training under his father from the age of three, studying singing, sitar and surbahar in his family's tradition, and later the Sarod. He is the first Sarod player of this distinguished musical... Read More


CD - 1

  1. Raga Khamboji
  2. Thumri in Raga Khammaj

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Wajahat Khan comes from one of the most illustrious families in North Indian classical music. His father is Imrat Khan, sitar and surbahar maestro, and his uncle the great sitarist Vilayat Khan. In recent years Wajahat has emerged as one of the most prominent Sarod players of his generation. The Sarod is a notoriously difficult instrument to master. A smooth sheet of metal with no frets covers the neck of the instrument. The subtle tones of Indian music are achieved by sliding the fingers of the left hand on the neck of the instrument. The sound is liquid, mellifluous and has a beautiful and delicate transparency.

Wajahat Khan's playing is often breathtaking in its scope and attention to melodic and rhythmic detail. His style is confident, direct and often urgent, displaying total mastery of his instrument. He plays two ragas, 'Khamboji' and 'Khammaj'. As the excellent insert notes by Richard Widdess explain, these two ragas are related melodically, although 'Khamboji' is something of a rarity. Wajahat gives 'Khamboji' the full classical treatment with alap, jor and two gats (compositions) and jhala in 16 beats. For 'Khammaj' he plays in a lighter romantic mood, the style of the vocal genre thumri. Sabir Khan's tabla accompaniment is subtle and refined throughout.

I highly recommend this recording to anyone who is interested in the Sarod and Indian music in general. You will rarely hear playing that is more focused and intelligent than this - Gerry Farrell: Songlines

Having only heard Wajahat Khan once before in a concert with his father Ustad Imrat Khan in 1991, I was greatly impressed and pleasantly surprised on hearing his Audiorec CD, "The Quest", which I recently received as a gift from a music-loving friend.

In "The Quest", Wajahat Khan gives a full rendition of the seldom heard Rag Khamboji, and ends with Rag Khamaj in Thumri style. The booklet describes Khamboji as a combination of the scales of Rags Bhopali and Khamaj. To my mind and ears the Rag Khamboji also has in it some resemblance or element of the Rag Jhinjhoti. It is almost as if the name Khamboji is a composite word made out of the names of the Rags KHamaj, BOpali and JHInjhoti. The mood of the Rag Khamboji as presented by Wajahat Khan in this CD, is very uplifting and romantic, and creates for me a
feeling of much joy and happiness.

I think any listener after hearing this CD would agree, that it would be a big mistake to regard Wajahat Khan as just another Sarod player. I see evidence in this CD that Wajahat Khan has advanced and progressed as a musician to the level where he should now be regarded as not only an accomplished musician, but one that has significantly raised the bar in terms of the art of Sarod playing. The clear and sharp tonal quality of his Sarod, the balance between manipulation of the notes with the left hand and gentle percussive strokes from the right hand are all indicative of a highly refined and polished playing style. I find his playing style quite unique and different from that of the Ustad Ali Akbar Khan or Ustad Amjad Ali Khan gharanas or style, which I find the majority of sarod players of today tend to follow. This is all the more remarkable considering Wajahat Khan comes from a family that has produced a line of leading Sitar players for several generations. The long and rounded meends or sliding of the notes produced by Wajahat Khan on the sarod, are in my mind without equal, and totally immersed in the gayaki style and reminiscent of the Surbahar, the instrument for which Wajahat Khan's father Ustad Imrat Khan and forefathers are famous for.

As a listener of Indian Classical music for 30 years, few recordings that I have heard in the last decade have impressed or satisfied me as much as this one by Wajahat Khan. His performance on this CD is very well balanced in terms of melodic versus rythmic development, as well as void of the flashiness and dazzling speed so prevalent in the music of young instrumentalists.

I would highly recommend this Audiorec CD, not only because of Wajahat Khan's impressive Sarod playing, but also for the opportunity to hear the rarely heard Rag Khamboji. So impressed was I with this CD, that I promptly ordered Wajahat Khan's three other CD's produced under different lablels. Rating : ***** / Sajjad Khaliq / Online Customer

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