Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali / Day of Colours
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Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali
Day of Colours
Real World Records (www.realworldrecords.com)

cd cover Pakistan's late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan will always be the king of qawwali, but since that now-familiar genre of Sufi devotional music is an art form that tends to get handed down from generation to generation, it's not surprising that the Rizwan-Muazzam ensemble, fronted by two nephews of the master, has become arguably the biggest thing in qawwali these days. If you've heard qawwali before, you pretty much know the score on what to expect from this album. These lengthy songs built around the sprightly gallop of tabla drums, steady handclaps and minor-key swirl of the harmonium are sung in praise of Allah and Sufi saints, building to lung-busting ecstatic heights of lead and chorus singing complete with wordless, rapid-fire scats and elongated cries that come across as the Muslim equivalent of speaking in tongues. This is passionately performed classic qawwali- these guys aren't (at this point, anyway) looking to break new ground like uncle Nusrat did with his landmark Mustt Mustt disc or his collaborations with Michael Brook. No problem. In keeping with the Sufi ideology that artistic expression fueled by love is good in the eyes of God, Day of Colours enriches and enlightens. Just as surely as in Gnawa trance music or the latest work by Youssou N'Dour, you can feel the spirit that prevails here, and it carries you to the intended heights. - Tom Orr

Available from cdRoots

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