July 31, 2021
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Aaj Rang Hai

Aaj Rang Hai

From the first decade of 1900s. Indubala, Mohammad Bandi and Achhan Bai were contemporaries of the legendary Gauhar Jaan, prima donna of early recordings of Indian music:

Kirana King, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, is next in our list and we also have the great Ustad Salamat Ali, Nazakat Ali and Naseem Begum performing the same in a 1960s Pakistan film, followed by a more contemporary performance in Boston and another performance by Pandit Yashpaul Nothing sounds better than some of our big names of Khayal singing light classical and folk. Here we give you one each from Bhimsen Joshi, Kesarbai Kerkar, Faiyaz Khan, Shrikrishna Narayan Ratanjankar, Barkat Ali Khan, Kumar Gandharava and Pandit Jasraj,Gangubai Hangal: The inimitable K.L. Saigal is next Three from Begum Akhtar Holi, colour, rang, how can one not think of Amir Khusro, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? We include Madan Gopal, Daler Mehndi and Amir Zoobi singing Bulleh Shah: hori kheluuNgii kah kah Bismillah/naam Nabi kii rata chaRii,buuNd paRii Allah Allah. So first Nusrat and Abida, doing lesser heard Holi songs. And then three different versions of Aaj Rang Hai And, of course, there are those divas: Siddheshwari Devi, Rasoolan Bai, Nirmala Devi, Sunderabai and the contemporary Shubha Mudgal: How do the same lyrics sound sung by different singers? You've heard this before by at least two singers above, but here are some more versions: After Bismillah Khan and Siddheshwari Devi, it is always Girija Devi of Benaras Shobha Gurtu is perhaps identified more for her light classical singing of the thumri, dadra, kajri, hori, but her Jaipur-Atrauli gharana training is clearly discernible in her singing: What never ceases to amaze of course are the various traditions and stories. Here are some, the first one from Moscow, with a version when the gopis make Krishna dress up like a woman, followed by Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj singing, and then Channulal Mishra with his anecdotes and singing: The tradition continues. A selection from Ajoy Chakrabarty, Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Kalapini Komkali, Jitendra Abhisheki, Koushik Bhattacharya, Kaushiki Chakrabarty, Akash Roy Our finest playback singers are no less than any of the classical lot. Here are just a few picked off the cuff: Geeta Dutt, Mohd Rafi, Lata and Asha And, of course, these timeless classics from Rajan Parrikar's excellent site:

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