Swan Song

Swan Song

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by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
     
 

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His soul-stirring voice blew the doors off qawwali, the Sufi Islamic devotional singing of Pakistan, allowing the world to revel in his quest for the divine, regardless of religion, race, or creed. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who died at the age of 48 in 1997, was one of world music's great populizers -- working with Western stars like See more details below

Overview

His soul-stirring voice blew the doors off qawwali, the Sufi Islamic devotional singing of Pakistan, allowing the world to revel in his quest for the divine, regardless of religion, race, or creed. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who died at the age of 48 in 1997, was one of world music's great populizers -- working with Western stars like Peter Gabriel and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and sampled on countless DJ remixes. He turned millions on to the beauty and power of his art. So this SWAN SONG, the last recorded concert given by Nusrat and his Party on May 4, 1997, in Pakistan, is fitting indeed because it shows the world a side of Nusrat that, while incredibly popular, has been virtually unknown in the West: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, pop star. Backed by his traditional Party of vocalists and percussionists, the mighty Khan is also joined by a battery of guitarists, a drummer, synthesizers, and saxophones. The result is something like a Muslim wedding in Las Vegas, with one of the world's greatest ecstatic singers presiding. In a weakened state through much of his final year, Nusrat is not in great voice here. His cousin Rahat (who now leads the Party) supplies most of the vocal acrobatics. The blazing electric guitar solos and disco beats also buoy the gentle giant over this 90-minute, 2-CD performance of his biggest hits. But Nusrat's rich, unmistakable, sandpaper tonality is present as ever, and his star power is in full effect as the crowd goes wild again and again. This is how most of the world experienced Khan -- their hearts touched and butts moved by a music that's both sacred and sexy, even a little schlocky. And if it dispels some of the exotic mystique for his Western audience, bringing them closer to his adoring South Asian fans, the demotic Mr. Khan wouldn't mind.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Adam Greenberg
Soon before his death in 1997, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performed at one last concert in Pakistan, the Pakistan 4 U concert, which was televised internationally, also marking the first time that a Pakistani music production on film was broadcast beyond the subcontinent. The next year, this album was released -- a recording of the final concert. There are a couple of good points to the album and a couple of less-enjoyable points. Nusrat's performance and execution were, of course, outstanding, and the concert is primarily powered by his abilities, his evocation of emotion, and his sheer vocal power. The crowd noticeably agrees throughout the album, occasionally singing along with the better-known numbers ("Allah Hu" and "Mustt Mustt," mainly). On the downside, one notes the recording quality. Given that it's a live concert recording in a large concert hall, one can forgive the various reverberations and occasional feedback noise overflow, though the remastering at Abbey Road doesn't seem to have helped a large amount in controlling these factors. The other sticking point is a more debatable one. The musical troupe relies exceedingly the use of a Western-style band, with electric guitar, keyboards, sax, and a drum kit alongside the usual harmonium and tabla. The effect of this is twofold: It denies the listener the pleasure of the more traditional approach to qawwali, but at the same time provides an interesting point of fusion between an ancient genre and modern instruments. The purist may not care as much for this album as the worldbeat fanatic, but both might wish to hear it as the last testament to Nusrat's amazing talents.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/10/1999
Label:
Narada
UPC:
0724384785727
catalogNumber:
47857

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Swan Song 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Iisten to him and see how one can sing so deep, that u can feel the pain in his voice, for his love.