Album Review

Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali/Party – “Body and Soul ” – [Real World Records Ltd.]

Max Level   1/26/2006   CD, International

Khan was a brilliant Pakistani vocalist in the Qawwali tradition, fusing the style’s traditional lyrics with new melodies and rhythms. Despite the sadness and longing in the lyrics, the sound of this ensemble is uplifting and seemingly joyous. Tabla, handclaps, and harmonium set the mood while a chorus of male voices (his party) toss the vocals around. The master’s sandpaper voice dazzles with its rapid-fire percussive technique, and then, oh man, it just takes off and soars in high arcs. Sometimes does both of those at the same time. Gives me goosebumps. His death a few years ago was a great loss, but thanks to this posthumous series on Real World, we’re still getting new music from him. An incredibly beautiful CD by a great artist.

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