Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan


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At the time of his death in 1997, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was not only the greatest living exponent of qawwali (the Sufi devotional music of Pakistan), but also its most successful popularizer, an international star known for the power of his live performances. And in addition to bringing the music to large audiences both inside and outside of Pakistan, Khan was also responsible for bringing it into the 20th century, collaborating with Western musicians and producers to create a fascinating qawwali-techno hybrid. Passion is comprised of recordings he made for a television documentary shortly before his death; the tracks were laid down live in the studio with the help of Indian and Pakistani DJs as well as his usual backing musicians. Along with his reedy, acrobatic voice and the tabla accompaniment that one would expect, there is the occasional sax solo, acoustic guitar, or overdubbed female backing vocals. The result is lovely, especially on the yearning "I Remember Her" and the gently regretful "The Magic Touch." Production values could have been a bit higher, but the music itself is excellent.

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