Indian music will always have its traditionalists and its contemporary pop artists; this is true in India itself, and it is true in England and other countries that attract a lot of Indian immigrants. When the 21st century arrived, Ali Akbar Khan was considered an elder statesman of traditional Indian classical music -- April 13, 2002, in fact, marked the veteran sarod virtuoso's 80th birthday. Khan was still 79 when he recorded From Father to Son, which has that title because it features his son, Alam Khan. This CD (which documents a May 2001 concert at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, CA) finds Ali Akbar Khan leading a trio; Alam Khan is also a sarod player, and the third musician is tabla drummer Swapan Chaudhuri. Together, the three musicians perform an extended version of the traditional "Ragini Puriya Dhanasri." Their inspired performance lasts 58 minutes, and the trio has no problem maintaining one's attention. Ali Akbar Khan has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the best in his field, and Alam -- although not nearly as experienced as his father -- has much potential as a sarod player. In the past, Ali Akbar Khan has experimented with synthesizers; 1990's Journey, for example, is among his more technology-friendly efforts. But there are no high-tech synthesizers on From Father to Son. Purists will be happy to know that an acoustic format prevails on this CD, which is a fine document of a 79-year-old Khan in the early 21st century.
From Father to Son Review
by Alex Henderson
||Ali Akbar Khan feat: Swapan Chaudhuri / Alam Khan / James Pomerantz||58:07||Amazon|