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World Music CD Reviews South Asia


Published May 31, 2006


On Inayat the masterful Ustad Vilayat Khan pays tribute to his father/guru, Ustad Inayat Khan. The album’s solitary track (divided in two parts) is the esteemed composition (bandish) “Raga Piloo,” originally composed by pops. “Piloo” is an assemblage of various motifs, unlike other, stricter ragas, upon which the player must adhere and base the improvisations. Featuring only Khan’s sitar and tabla (Vijay Ghate), this classical Hindustani recording highlights, in exquisite intimate detail, classical Indian music’s emphasis on the melodic/rhythmic elements. Attentive listening is a requisite, as maestro Khan thoroughly explores the nuances found within the Piloo raga. Like many other classical Indian pieces requiring sustained attention span, this may prove difficult for generations raised on four- or five-minute radio tunes. Both Ustad Khan and Mr. Ghate are musicians par excellence. While their names may not be as popular as Ravi Shankar or Zakir Hussein, they are equally talented.