March 25, 2018

Pramod Kumar: Le Sitar Indien [Arion ARN 34207] an LP released in France in 1973

This pleasant album has been reprinted in many different versions, with different titles and cover art. This particular LP has been manufactured in Italy, according to the labels. It is well recorded (as so many French albums are) and definitely deserves to be preserved and enjoyed.

There is not a tremendous amount of information on the internet about Pramod Kumar (1938-83) but he appears to have been an early disciple of Ravi Shankar and to have died at the young age of 45.

Unfortunately, the name of the tabla player is not mentioned -- a typical situation which persisted into the early 1980s.

side one: 
Raga Purya Kalyan

side two: 
Raga Shudh Sarang
Thumri based in Raga Sindhi Bhairavi

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Audio-technica AT440MLb
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: AudacityClickRepairand xAct


  1. Hi Richard,

    I love these Arion releases. I think I have all of the Indian ones - L'Hindoustan and Le Chant Profond de L'Inde. It's strange that this one doesn't mention the tabla player - I have the Italian version. However, the Tabla player on the other two albums is Zamir Ahmad Khan - it could be fairly safe to assume he also played on this one?


    1. Hi Kirrin!

      I agree with you that the tabla player is most likely Zamir Ahmad Khan. Unfortunately, for too long the tabla player was considered too insignificant to be named. In this release we have the names of the recording engineer and even the person who photographed the artwork on the front cover -- but no mention of who is playing the tabla and the tanpura.

      Even today, many concert organizers don't seem to care who is touching the tabla and have no qualms about paying only the soloist and expecting the tabla performer's fee to be paid by said soloist. This has led to some soloists touring with the cheapest tabla player they can find rather than the best they can afford. There are exceptions, of course.

      I'm enjoying your blog and hope all of my readers are as well!

  2. Great Post, beautiful rendition of Raga Sindhi Bhairavi, thank you.

  3. I was a little late getting around to this one but--wow!!!--great.

    I love the shimmering quality Pramod Kumar gives to the sitar.

    And the transfer sounds great.

    Thank you for another treasure Richard.


  4. i have this album, it's a good performance, shame we don't know the name of the tabla player

  5. The tabla player on this LP is Krishna Govinda.

    (I have the CD (re)release(s): 'Les Chemins du raga, vol. 1' & 'l'Art du sitar'; ARN 64172 & ARN 60478)

  6. Dear Sir- on a music store website this information is published.
    Seller's comment :
    Purya Kalyan / Kalpana / Madhyamat Sarang
    Pramod Kumar, sitar / Prakash Wadhera, flute / Ustad Zamir Ahmad Khan, tabla ....Arion ARN 33 332 - French stereo pressing.
    Vinayak Vaidya....

  7. The CDs have the complete listings of the musicians:

    Zamir Ahmed Khan does play tabla on Madhyamat Sarang (Gat) that you mention but that is not on this LP as it was recorded in 1976!

    Krishna Govinda plays tabla on the pieces ON this LP.

    As stated earlier, the CD reissues I mentioned of this material contains the full listings of the three different tabla players who performed with Pramod Kumar on his ARION LPs: they are Krishna Govinda, Rajendra Kumar and Zamir Ahmed Khan.

    On this 1973 recording, it is Krishna Govinda.
    For the 1975 recording, it is Rajendra Kumar
    For the 1976-78 recordings, it is Zamir Ahmed Khan.

    1. Thanks for clearing this up for everyone, Dan!