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Live in Basel

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Review
India Currents / November, 1991

LIVE IN BASEL, Part One. Ken Zuckerman (sarod) and Zakir Hussain (tabla). Compact disc LMT CD3004, AAD, 62:40. Living Music Traditions Inc.

Master musicians make their mark on the world by leaving a living legacy behind. In the West, they do it with brilliant compositions and recordings. In India, they do it with shishyas or disciples who have been years and years in training. One such shishya is Ken Zuckerman who has been studying with Ali Akbar Khan for 17 years and now directs the Ali Akbar College of Music in Switzerland. He has recently performed with his guru in concerts in Bombay, New Delhi, Europe, and here in San Diego.

This recording of Raga Bhimpalasi (spelled Bhimpalashri here) is part one of an unedited live concert in Basel, Switzerland in 1989. Here Zuckerman’s sarod is accompanied by Zakir Hussain’s tabla. The second part consists of a powerful solo by Hussain, followed by Raga Jhinjhoti, and is available as a separate CD.

Ken’s rendition of this late afternoon raga is exemplary. It exceeded all my expectations. He has been recognized as one of the finest disciples of Ali Akbar Khan. After listening to this compact disc, I could not help agreeing more.

Zakir Hussain’s style of playing is aptly described as the “plucking of drumskins – both of the drums themselves and those of our ears.” As a student of his says, no one has been as successful in emulating musical notes on the tabla as he has.

The recording is of very good quality and the CD has been mastered AAD. The liner notes sound apologetic about a slight background noise during the opening minutes of the concert, but I didn’t even notice it. This CD is an outstanding example of Zuckerman’s prowess. He has four other recordings, some on CD and others on MC (I assume this stands for master cassettes). Go out and get them.

Mahesh Jethanandani India Currents

Live in Basel cover

Sounds of India. LIVE IN BASEL

Raga Bhimpalashri.
Alap, Jor 27:46
Gats in Teental (16 beats) 34:54

Recorded from a concert in Basel, Switzerland on March 19, 1989.
Co-sponsored by the Museum für Völkerkunde and the Indian Music Circle of Basel.
P & C 1989 Living Music Traditions in cooperation with Radio DRS.
LMT CD3004
Michael Koechlin – Editor
Jürg Jecklin – Recording Engineer

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