Jnan Prakash Ghosh

Drums of India, Vol. 1

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Though the tabla may be the most well known member of the Indian drum family, there are many different kinds of Indian drums, and indeed many different sounds that can be coaxed from specific types of Indian drums. Originally released in 1968 in India, Drums of India features a dozen of them. The tabla is indeed one, but so are the pakhawaj, khol, mridangam, khanjari, dholak, nakara, bengal dhol, madal, khamak, huruk, and bayan. Though most of the ten tracks feature just one of the aforementioned varieties of drums, a few feature two of them, with "Ensemble" presenting the tabla, khanjari, nakari, and dholak playing in concert. In assembling such a recording, there's a danger in making the actual record an academic folkloric program. But while there's much to be learned about tones and techniques specific to each drum for those who are curious, care is obviously taken to also make this something that can be appreciated and enjoyed by the general Indian music listener, with pieces that are highly rhythmic and varied in both texture and the patterns in which they're played. The album was reissued in 2007 by Saregama as part of a two-CD package, Drums of India, Vols. 1 & 2, which also includes the 1979 album Drums of India, Vol. 2.