June 17, 2019

Bismillah Khan and VG Jog: Shehnai and Violin [EASD 1299] an LP recorded and released in India in 1965

Here is a delightful jugalbandi from 1965, one of at least two which this pair of musicians recorded for HMV/EMI.

This record came to me from my friend Axel, who had access to unsold stock from a former importer. Therefore it was in immaculate condition. Unfortunately, the recording itself seems to have a very small amount of distortion in a few louder passages. This might be a mastering problem or may be the result of using worn out stampers (a common practice in Indian LP manufacturing, unfortunately). The fadeouts are quite abrupt as well. This is probably not very noticeable for most people.

side one: Raga Jaijaivanti
side two: Raga Bahar

Bismillah Khan: shehnai
VG Jog: violin
Mahapurush Mishra: tabla

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: AudacityClickRepair, and xAct


24bit, 96kHz FLAC files (906 MB)

16bit, 44.kHz FLAC files (257 MB)

320 kbps mp3 files (108 MB)

Here is a good explanation of what FLAC files are and why you should be listening to them if you can.

Below is a video concert of VG Jog and Zakir Hussain from the archives of Basant Bahar, who are still promoting concerts in California. Definitely check out their wonderful YouTube channel!

June 3, 2019

Browser warnings

There has been some talk in my comment section and also around the internet that Google has been busy labeling certain websites as being potentially harmful.

The first sign I noticed a few weeks ago was the little warning box in my address window saying that a site was "NOT SECURE" because it would not accept a https:// (notice the s) connection, which is a secure connection. See the photo below when I visit my own blog.

Now apparently Google is maintaining a database of websites which have had complaints from people who say they have downloaded malicious software from that site. Any web hosting site is going to be on that list (except GoogleDrive, I bet) because the hosting sites have no way to scan for viruses -- even Google will warn you when you download a file that it is too large to scan for viruses. (sorry no screenshot here).

So this is the warning people are getting when attempting to download material from adrive.com, which is my web hosting service:

Notice that your browser is warning you that the website may try to trick you into downloading some apps you don't want. I think anyone who has used Zippyshare or Mediafire has noticed the very aggressive popups and warnings to download the latest version of Flash, etc etc. 

If anyone notices such popups or warnings coming from adrive.com, please let me know.

Finally, I decide to click on the link in the warning box to check on websites. When I entered adrive.com the database said it was potentially unsafe but maybe not the entire site. Then I entered the exact URL address of the download and i got this:

As I was going through some old posts on my dear friend Tawfiq's blog "Oriental Traditional Music on LPs and Cassettes," I noticed a comment on one of his posts from February 2015. It reads:

Anonymous said...

To admin; apparently A-drive has been blocked by "google safe" due to containing harmful malware on the server downloadwww.31.adrive.com. In other-words I cannot download this album. Thank you for for your wonderful blog. I'm able to find many treasures here I would not be able to find.


19 February 2015 at 08:07

So this has been happening off-and-on for almost five years. 

In the meantime, I am going to keep using adrive.com. You and I will both notice this sort of warning coming up frequently. 

I truly thank every one of my readers and I sincerely hope that you are deriving benefit from the music available here and on other similar sites listed to the right. 

I hope you will study this beautiful music and give it your full attention. 

I also strongly hope that you will do your best to see Indian Classical Music concerts in person and help support the artists in that way. There are Hindustani and often Carnatic concerts everywhere -- not just Asia but every country in Europe, every country in North America (including Mexico, where a friend of mine just toured), and even at least one in Africa (South Africa). These are not always well publicized but they can be found with a little looking around on the internet and also mentioning to others about your love of this music. 

June 1, 2019

Rais Khan: Sitar Solo [ECSD 2412] an LP recorded in India in 1969

Here is an early LP by Ustad Rais Khan -- it appears to be his third overall and his second Classical album. Tabla duties are expertly rendered by Bashir Ahmad Khan.

Rais Khan's first album, "Raga Jazz Style" was a big hit. The story I have heard was that the LP was recorded while the Bollywood musicians were on strike. Khan continued for several more years to work on film music (as do so many classical musicians up to the present time) and unfortunately for some commentators this has tainted him. 

Regardless of Khan's work in film, his classical albums were very solid and his concerts right up to his death two years ago were a delight. He had a very personal style which provided great joy to many people. Here is a video of the first part of his first concert in the United States, in 1989:

Side one:
Raga Darbari Kanada in Teentaal
Dhun in Dadra Taal
Side two:
Raga Tilok Kamod in Teentaal
Dhun in Dadra Taal

Sitar: Rais Khan
Tabla: Basheer Ahmad Khan

Further resources:
Another very good vinyl transfer of this LP is on my friend Kirrin's excellent blog. 
A vinyl transfer of Rais Khan's first LP from 1968 is available on Kirrin's blog and a transfer of the cassette version of that album is on my dear friend Tawfiq's wonderful blog
Another LP by Rais Khan (with the great Sankha Chatterjee on tabla) is available on this blog.

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: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct