As heir to a singing dynasty stretching back to the 16th century, Shafqat Ali Khan is one of the master classical vocalists of India and Pakistan.
On this soulful debut release, he propels his tradition into the 21st century, the serpentine melodies of his Punjabi homeland soaring over the guitars, synths and beats of an electro-acoustic mix.
"Shafqat Ali Khan is the son of famed Pakistani singer Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, who was the uncle and one of the first teachers of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the best-known exponent of Pakistani Qawaali singing. But you can't listen to a lineage, and Shafqat Ali Khan blazes his own path on this self-titled album co-composed with keyboardist Douglas McKeehan, known for his work with the world-fusion group Ancient Future. Together, they create a contemporary extrapolation of the gharana music tradition, a sound of unbridled passion that spins off vocal ornaments that sound like a baroque painting on acid. This isn't traditional music souped up with modern arrangements, but new compositions built from the ground up. Shafqat writes his own, Rumiesque lyrics, ranging from the love song of "Ashina" to the ecstatic rave-up of "Dance of My Soul." It's that mixture of sensuality and spirituality that creates the tension of Qawaali music. McKeehan's inventive arrangements often eschew Pakistani signposts completely, from the bluegrass banjo on "Dust to Dust" to the cyclical guitar lines of Richard Michos on "Valley of Memories." Beautifully produced, Khan and McKeehan create a dynamic relief to what can often be an unremittingly intense music."
- John Diliberto
released April 11, 2000
PRODUCED BY DOUGLAS MCKEEHAN
original compositions by SHAFQAT AL KHAN and DOUGLAS MCKEEHAN
except Valley of Memories by R.MiCHOS and SHAFQAT ALI KHAN,
and Ashina by R.MICHOS, SHAFQAT AL KHAN, and SHIRAFAT ALI KHAN
SHAFOAT ALI KHAN - vocals on all tracks
DOUGLAS MCKEEHAN - keyboards and programming on 1, 2, 3, 6, 7. 8; keyboards on 4
RICHARD MICHOS - electric and acoustic quitars, electric bass, programming on 4, 5.
JIM 'SANTI' OWEN - tavil, kanjira, and morsing - 1; tabla - 2,6; pakowaj- 7.
lAN DOGOLE - udu on 1, 3, 6; talking drum on 1, 6; dhumbek and shaker on 8
GEORGE BROOKS - soprano saxophone on 1
MOSES SEDLER - cello on 2 ,6, 7
MATTHEW MONTFORT - scalloped fretboard and electric quitars on 2, 8 (courtesy Narada Records)
DAVE RISTRIM - banjo on 3
ARSHAD SYED - tabla on 4
MATT VENUTI EVI - (electric valve instrument) on 4
VINCE LITTLETON - percussion on 5
Hearts of Space Records | A Valley Entertainment Label
Launched in 1984, this record label
was created as an extension of the weekly syndicated radio show Hearts of Space. Centered around contemplative music, the label features music from the ambient, new age, electronic, world, Celtic, classical, and experimental genres....more