Recorded live in 1995, Pakistani Sufi Songs is a good introduction to the music of Abida Parveen for those not yet initiated into her soul-binding ecstatic invocation of Urdu poetry. With three recitations each of Kafi and Ghazal styles of Sufi music, this album provides insight into these separate yet very similar subgenres. The joyfulness she brings to the work of such poets as Amir Khusraw, Baba Bulleh Shah, Hakim Nasser, and Ghulam Farid is evident in the surging ecstasy of the crowd as it applauds and sings along. The songs here also display Parveen's notion of high improvisation in her live performances. The songs, just like other classical genres in the region, slowly build momentum as she progresses through the recital, incorporating modulations and variations that reveal her vocal prowess. A knowledge of Urdu language is not necessary to appreciate this uplifting piece of art, as this form of devotional world music has the power to transcend language barriers. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Bhasker Gupta