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


  1. Many thanks Richard !


  2. Hi Richard,

    I always appreciate your posts and love Rais Khan - been trying to find a fresh copy of an old cassette I made of a Rais Khan and Brij Bushan Kabra Jugalbandi from same period that is fantastic.

    One important thing - firefox gave me a warning that your rais khan zip contains a virus or malware - maybe check your own machine?



  3. Dear Richard, when I try to download, my computer warns me that the files are infected by a virus. This was not the case for the previous post (Malini Rajurkar) when I downloaded it two weeks ago. Now the warning appears also there. I tried from two different computers. Could you please check if possible. Thank you very much for your efforts and your wonderful blog!

  4. Thank you. Downloading this on Chrome and got no warning at all.

  5. had to download on explorer, blocked on firefox and chrome

  6. Hello Richard, This paragraph is in response to an earlier poster on your blog and to this LP. I am always saddened when people criticize a serious or "classical" artist for playing commercial music, or in the case of Bollywood, film music. I can think of absolutely nothing that would be wrong with playing commercial or film music, especially if it provides greater financial security for a musical artist, who is then enabled to record serious music for a smaller, critical audience. I recall especially the case of the great Ali Akbar Khan, who was harshly (an quite unreasonably) criticized for selling out to Western audiences on several occasions. So few musics in the world today are truly "pure" or made as "music for its own sake", and in any case, even classical music, at least in the West, has been made into a commodity by virtue of being distributed through the same outlets that distribute popular music, i.e., the record company, online sales, etc. So, if it brings pleasure to a different demographic, I see commercial music as a wonderful way for a musician to support him/herself, and thereby ensure that he/she can perform serious music for the demographic to which (presumably) many of the visitors to this blog belong. To criticize someone for making money with their music seems to me the height of arrogance and overlooks the very important facts that musicians need to eat as well as the rest of us, and they need to have a way to assure for themselves a comfortable old age.