One of the many budget compilations of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan recordings released after the singer's early-'90s breakthrough (courtesy of Peter Gabriel's Real World label), 1996's The Prophet Speaks is, unlike many of the others, strictly traditional Qawwali: no beat-heavy remixes, no Western instrumentation, no attempts to cut down these lengthy performances to fit jaded attention spans. These are three lengthy (13, 17, and 20 minutes apiece) improvisations by Khan & Party that ebb and flow organically, with the singers and instrumentalists led throughout by Khan's indescribable vocal power and emotion. Unfortunately, the skimpy liner notes are barren in terms of recording and personnel information, making it a frustrating first purchase for a neophyte who wants to learn more about this unique and fascinating performer.
Prophet Speaks Review
by Stewart Mason
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