Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party
Dust To Gold

cd cover

I wonder if anyone will ever be able to catalogue a complete discography of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It would certainly be a Herculean task! Realworld states that this album consists of never before released recordings from an archive in Lahore. Perhaps they are. Regardless, I am always happy to see new issues of recordings by Nusrat, particularly recordings from either early or late in Nusrat's (far too brief) career . The four pieces on this album were recorded in June of 1997, just two months prior to his death. I wonder at the intensity with which Nusrat lived his life. There is no weakness, no waning of energy and passion.

I have not heard these four pieces before. They are all devotional hymns, fairly moderate and steady in tempo. The first piece, "Khawaja Tum Hi Ho," is the fastest, with an aggressive start and such plaintive vocals. The very catchy main theme is alternated with fanciful improvisations by the three main soloists. This piece excels at having the tremendous momentum throughout matched with the extreme sense of longing which pervades Nusrat's idiom and which makes it so piercing and irresistible. The second and third pieces, "Data Teira Durbar," "Koi Hai Na Ho Ga" respectively, are a bit more sedate and even conversational in style, with fewer vocal improvisations. However, the calmer rise and fall of the phrases is no less addictive. The fourth piece, "Noor-E Khuda Hai Husn-E-Sarapa Rasool," has the slowest tempo, but also a very unusual dotted rhythm. There is a real groove in its slow pulse. It almost seems like the first piece is the hook which catches the audience, while the rest holds the listener enthralled. This excellent recording has helped quench my endless thirst for Nusrat's voice and music. For now. - Dave Dalle

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