Archive for September, 2018

Raga Surmalhar Part 1 & 2 – Arunkumar

Vocalist Arunkumar is apparently a versatile singer trained across various Hindustani Classical genres. However, his talents are not appropriately showcased on “Raga Surmalhar” where Arunkumar indulges in KHAYAL VILAMBIT EKTAAL for approximately in one hour [in Part 1] and KHAYAL DRUT TEENTAAL for half an hour [in Part 2] as the instrumentation is mainly restricted to the monotony of a keyboard drone and tabla. If “Raga Surmalhar” is not the most popular of all ragas, one really needs to look at the instrumentation to understand why.


– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Noor – Sudeep Banerji & Aalok Shrivastav


Combining the talent of Urdu lyricist Aalok Shrivastav and composer-vocalist Sudeep Banerji results in the debut of “Noor”, a ghazal on the philosophies of love and life. It is a relaxing selection with the sounds of sitar, courtesy Fateh Ali, and the beat of the tabla, from the omnipresent Amit Choubey, perfectly underplayed on “Noor”.


– Reviewed by Parag Kamani

Saason Ki Maala – Shaarib-Toshi

Saason Ki Maala

Ever since legendary Qawwali exponent Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan past away in 1997, singers have attempted to relive his musical past but, in attempting to do, they have always carried an inherent risk of exposing their limitations. This time around, Bollywood duo Shaarib-Toshi have attempted to perform “Saason Ki Maala”, a song that speaks of how true love is eternal as their ode to the late, great Nusratji, who I had the privilege of seeing perform live in Mumbai during the ’90s. In providing a contemporary feel to the sound, the music directors have virtually ignored the live instrumentation that existed in the original composition by Nusratji, relying on synthetic sounds through the programming of Riddhiman Chaterjee. However, the flute passage from Naveen Kumar is a redeeming feature on the marvelous composition which is, as always, shining and soothing.


– Reviewed by Parag Kamani