Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali Group

Day of Colours

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For their third album of traditionally styled qawwali music, the two nephews of the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (and his anointed successors) continue to mature and define their style. The songs, a mix of the ancient and the modern, are all love songs in praise of the deity, as befits the music of Sufi mysticism. But thankfully neither Rizwan nor Muazzam try to emulate the vocal pyrotechnics of their uncle. That would be a mistake and invite comparisons where they'd only fare badly. Sensibly, they've pursued their own style, with the voices working together or complementing each other, and in doing so they've created something quite individual. However, the goal of ecstasy remains the same, and on the lengthy cuts (only "Life and Soul" runs less than ten minutes), they have the chance to develop and create some beautiful improvisations. The harmonium, long the ground of qawwali, is very prominent throughout, and the brothers lead the vocal chorus. At times, such as with the title cut, there's a great deal of beauty, and at other times they seem to be taking chances: "Life and Soul" contains an echo of the gypsy rhythms that originated in Rajahstan and would turn into flamenco, becoming quite bravura in its harmonies and ideas. But even when it's adventurous, this remains very pure qawwali. It's perhaps too early to judge whether Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali will achieve the eminence of their uncle, or even how their career will eventually fare; seven years in, they've barely begun. But the indications are that they have something special to offer musically, in the great tradition of their family. Certainly with each album they grow in stature.

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