|Beginning with a classic from the 50s and progressing right through to the new millennium, the recordings – some blockbuster hits, others more rare – tell the true story of Sufi music in India and its influence on the more folklorish Qawwali, a music consumed on a daily basis, side-by-side with all other forms of popular Bollywood music. Sufi-influenced music has been present in Indian cinema pretty much since the first films were released. The relationship of Sufi music to the more popular Qawwali is almost similar to that of traditional Gospel music to traditional R&B music as pioneered by Ray Charles. The performances are not always ‘pure’ in the lyrical sense, but neither are they devoid of ‘soul’. Whether following the popular conventions of the time, or striking out on their own, some of Bollywood’s most impassioned and heartfelt performances are caught in these tracks.|
From an adolescence spent hustling gigs with their mandolin and violin, to maturity as one of Bollywood’s most successful composers, the story of Laxmikant Pyarelal seems a rags-to-riches fable.
Perhaps this was true for Laxmikant, but Pyarelal came from an established musical family and both got their first break when spotted by Lata Mangeshkar. Attending her home-based music academy, they met and formed a friendship that would last a lifetime.
Whether writing seperately or together, they always credited themselves as a duo, and it’s under the Laxmikant Pyarelal name that some of Bollywood’s best-loved soundtracks are remembered. Covering all styles and winning many awards they left an indelible mark on some of the most productive years for India’s massive film and music industry. From the 1960s through to the 90s, including rare tracks and classic hits, these 2 CDs tell their story.
More than any other musician from the subcontinent Ravi Shankar catalysed and crystallised so much when it came to fostering appreciation and understanding of Hindustani or Northern Indian classical or art music. For many of his countrymen and women and foreign audiences alike, India’s best-known musician provided their first taste of this inspired and inspiring music. Remaining true to his guru’s teachings and guidance, the sitarist plucked out and delivered innovation within tradition, continuity within change, change within continuity.
On these 2 CD’s we present some of his classic recordings: some have never been officially released on CD before. With an introductory essay that helps locate his position in the pantheon, and brief track notes taken from the original vinyl albums, these recordings – both solo and accompanied – are a perfect introduction to the man and his music, and essential listening for both newcomer and connoisseur alike.