I’m never bored, ever! How could I be? We are surrounded by rich cultural delights like this, a performance passionately executed by the star of the show, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a Pakistani Qawwali superstar with a voice that must surely have been given to him as a spell. (The other singers here singer also have incredible voices.) The Tabla player, non-stop, such strength in the fingers and such rhythm in the soul and musical expertise, nurtured since a child to play this intoxicating instrument? Then there’s the hand pumped organ/harmonium. (Khan was also a tabla and harmonium player.)
The tradition of Qawwali goes back 700 years and is a form of Sufi devotional music made popular in the west by labels such as Real World that dedicated its catalogue to World Music, opening the eyes of European blood to the jewels hidden in the desert, inaccessible mountain valleys, secret islands and dark deep jungles.
A major influence of Jeff Buckley, he is quoted as calling Khan “My Elvis”. One of the most inspired guitarists of the present age, Derek Trucks has paid homage to Khan with his own interpretation of Khan songs on two LP’s, Joyful Noise and Songlines. As a driving force behind Real World and the spreading of World Music to the masses, Peter Gabriel is a major fan. Canadian guitarist Michael Brook has been a collaborator.
Tragically, Khan died in 1997, too young at the age of 48 but throughout his life he toured all over the world, sharing his magic gift with awestruck audiences wherever he performed. Discover him here, now.