August 18, 2016

Ali Akbar Khan: Live in Eugene, Oregon. October 1983. [AMMP CS86-8] a cassette released in the United States in 1987

Here we have another in the series of cassettes which AMMP Music Productions (i.e., the AACM) released in the mid 1980s documenting the Ustad's collection of concert recordings. The story I have heard, not independently verified by any of the principals, is that Mary Johnson Khan began discovering boxes of reels of recordings of live concerts by her husband placed in odd locations in their home. Places like under a couch or in closets. She apparently decided to start to archive these recordings with the goal of eventually making them available to the public.

The first step of this was the two similarly-titled series of cassettes released in the 1980s under both the AACM and the AMMP banner.

On the first side of the cassette we have a jovial Ali Akbar Khan explaining what he'll play that evening. I will leave it up to you to hear his charming talk. Then an alap followed by gats in a closely related raga. The sound quality of the original tape seems quite good. Commercially produced cassettes can have the quality of their higher frequencies suffer a bit from the high-speed dubbing which predominiantes their manufacture. I have given the higher frequencies in these two sides a very slight boost (about 2 decibels between 9kHz and 13kHz or so). Nothing too noticeable.

My cassette set up will be detailed in a future post. I just wanted to remind listeners who are archiving their cassettes to read up on "azimuth adjustment" before they transfer the tape. This can make a huge audible difference that you can hear immediately as you change the azimuth.

Tabla is by the great Swapan Chaudhuri

side 1: Raga Hem Behag: alap and jod
side 2: Raga Bihag: gats in teentaal

(high resolution file ideal for listening on computer or certain portable players)

(standard resolution file ideal for burning a CDR)

(highest possible quality compressed file ideal for listening on a portable player)


  1. Fantastic, one more AAK recording in my collection thanks a lot!

  2. God bless you.Your blog is a goldmine !!

  3. Hi Rory! You (or others) might be interested in this semi-official discography of AAK's recordings which is housed at the AliAkbar College of Music's website:

    1. Hi Richard, thank you for this discography, I already had it of course, because I'm a big fan of Khansahib, he is one of my favourites musicians with Hariprasad Chaurasia (I look for the Hariji's early LPs by the way!)

      I've got many AAK recordings on my hard disk in FLAC format, official and unofficial.

      Regarding AMPP catalog, I've bought in digital format those 2 live recordings originally released in cassette then in MP3 download:

    2. By the way, concerning AMPP AAK recordings, I miss:

      - Live In Berkeley
      - Live In Calcutta 1 & 2
      - In Concert at St John's

    3. Hi Rory. Live at St John's is coming eventually.

      I have the first volume of Live in Calcutta, but the distributer I purchased my cassettes from did not have volume 2. I'm not sure I want to post half of the concert although technically they are different releases.

      Live at Berkeley is another story. It is well recorded, with really charming playing. However, my copy suffers from severe wow and flutter. Because it occurs at the same place each time I try to transfer it, I am afraid it might have occurred during duplication and may be unretrievable. However, I suppose it is possible that there is something wrong with the inner liner or another aspect of the case. I happen to have some new blank cassettes I purchased from the largest cassette duplicator in the US and will attempt to do this.

    4. Thanks Richard for this precisions, no problem, I know you'll do for the best!

  4. Hi Somesh:

    i am so happy you are enjoying these audio files. I am certain you will listen carefully and enjoy them as much as I have.

    I wish for you and everyone who reads this -- happiness, health, physical safety, and peace.

  5. Beautiful stuff, Many thanks Richard!