Shujaat Husain Khan - Hawa Hawa
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Shujaat Husain Khan
Hawa Hawa
World Village (www.worldvillagemusic.com)

cd cover Shujaat Husain Khan is the elder son of Ustad Vilayat Khan, probably the best sitar player active today. Coming from a family that has given and taken so much from the sitar, it is not surprising to find Shujaat's name among the most recognised sitar players of his generation along with Budhaditya Mukherjee, Sahid Parvez and few others.

His style is very romantic and lyrical, following his family gharana that introduced the vocal style on the instrument. Shujaat has brought his gharana style, usually very classical, to an unfamiliar context; it is noteworthy to mention his group with Kayhan Kalhor, Iranian kementche player, that under the name Ghazal has received many attentions for the recordings with Shanachie and ECM.

In this new CD Shujaat explores a repertoire quite unknown in the Western world: the folk songs. It is particularly striking that such an important classical musician display this neglected art form, and Shujaat does at a very high and sophisticated level.

The six songs of the CD, taken from the memories of his youth when in Simla, without radio and TV his main pleasure was to listen to folk music, are beautifully exposed. Shujaat plays the sitar, introducing the theme, and sings, in Punjabi and Hindi, traditional lyrics or new ones he wrote for the occasion. Most of the songs are love songs that Shujaat sings with a very rare easiness, in a romantic style, avoiding all the roughness typical of Indian classical singing. The sitar interludes and phrases that he displays among the singing add sweetness and passion to the mood, over Indian percussion (tabla, dholak) that sustains the sweet melodic lines and maintains a dancing rhythm. The final result is very poetic and gives a new key to accessing the Indian musical world that many times is a bit too far for the Western ear. - Renzo Pognant

Available from cdRoots


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