Various Artists

The Rough Guide to the Music of India and Pakistan

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A nice mix of the highly varied styles of Indian music. Classical forms are represented by Vilayat Khan, Dr. N. Ramani, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Lighter forms of classical are held up by Ali Akbar Khan and Bismillah Khan. Pakistani music is shown off by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in a devotional piece of qawwal, and Zarsanga gives a nice pashtu performance. On top of this, Rajasthani folk forms are also given some time with the Musicians and Poets of Rajasthan. Both classical and folk forms are represented in fine form on the album. The one regrettable feature is the incessant shortening of the classical pieces to five-minute excerpts. Nonetheless, the small showcase of folk forms is nice, and as an overview of Indian and Pakistani music, the album does well to show as many forms as possible in a single CD. Recommended to those who are new to the field of Indian music, though the timbre of the snake-charming oboes may be a little off-putting.

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