Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Live in Eugene, OR (1983)


I was reminded of this recording the other day while listening to “Stir” from the fantastic One Eleven Heavy album, Desire Path. One of the songs references listening to Ali Akbar, and it prompted me to pull out this gem and give is a reconsideration. If you’re not familiar with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, The Wikipedias tell us that Ali Akbar Khan:

“was a Hindustani classical musician of the Maihar gharana, known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod. Trained as a classical musician and instrumentalist by his father, Allauddin Khan, he also composed several classical ragas and film scores. He established a music school in Calcutta in 1956, and the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967, which moved with him to the United States and is now based in San Rafael, California, with a branch in Basel, Switzerland.”

This is a live recording that I’e had for several years, and according to the wonderful Flat, Black and Classical blog (where you can also download the show):

“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.”

Tabla by Swapan Chaudhuri.

Side A of the cassette begins with Khan explaining what he'll play that evening, followed by “Raga Hem Behag:”

Side B of the cassette features “Raga Bihag:”