The Emperor of Qawwal (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (October 13, 1948 - August 16, 1997), a world-renowned Pakistani musician, was primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis, a mystical offshoot of Islam. Ustad Nusrat is credited with taking this traditional musical art form to an international level and creating a new generation of Qawwali lovers both in Pakistan and around the world.

Traditionally, Qawwali has been a family business. Nusrat has an unbroken tradition of performing qawwali for the last 600 years. Among other honorary titles bestowed upon him, Nusrat was called Shahenshah-e-Qawwali, meaning The Emperor of Qawwals.

Life and career
Nusrat was born in Faisalabad, Punjab on October 13, 1948 to Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, a distinguished musicologist, vocalist, instrumentalist, and skilled Qawwali performer. He had one brother, Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan. Initially, his father did not want Nusrat to follow him into the Qawwali business. He had his heart set on Nusrat choosing a much more respectable career path and becoming a doctor, because he felt Qawwali artists had low social status. However, Nusrat showed such an aptitude for, and interest in, Qawwali that his father finally relented and started to train him in the art of Qawwali and he was also taught to sing within the classical framework of Khayal. This training was still incomplete when Ustad Fateh Ali Khan died in 1964 while Nusrat was still in school, and the training was continued by Nusrat’s paternal uncle, Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan. Ten days after his father’s death, Nusrat had a dream where his father came to him and told him to sing, touching his throat. Nusrat woke up singing, and was moved by the dream to decide that he would make Qawwali his career. His first public performance was at his father’s funeral ceremony forty days later. Under the guidance of Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan, he became the group’s leader in 1965 and the group was called Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan & Party. (”Party” is the term used in Qawwali for the supporting members of the group).

Nusrat’s first public performance as leader of the family Qawwali group was in March 1965, at a studio recording broadcast as part of an annual music festival called Jashn-e-Baharan organized by Radio Pakistan. It took Nusrat several years more to perfect his craft and emerge from the shadow of the groups that were regarded as the leading contemporary Qawwals. But once he did, there was no looking back. He firmly established himself as the leading qawwal of the 20th century. His incredible voice and his complete mastery of the genre made him a superstar in the Indian subcontinent and the Islamic world. He sang in Urdu and his native Punjabi, as well as Persian. He was also one of the first South Asian singers to perform before large Western audiences.

Nusrat took over his family’s qawwali party in 1971 after the death of his father and his uncle. In Pakistan, his first major hit was the song “Haq Ali Ali”. This was performed in a traditional style and with traditional instrumentation, and featured only sparse use of Nusrat’s innovative sargam improvisations. Nevertheless the song became a major hit, as many listeners were attracted to the timbre and other qualities of Nusrat’s voice.

He reached out to Western audiences with a couple of fusion records produced by Canadian guitarist Michael Brook. In 1995, he collaborated with Eddie Vedder on the soundtrack to Dead Man Walking. His contribution to that and several other soundtracks and albums (including The Last Temptation of Christ and Natural Born Killers), as well as his friendship with Peter Gabriel, helped to increase his popularity in Europe and the United States. Peter Gabriel’s Real World label released five albums of Nusrat’s traditional Qawwali performances in the West. Real World also released albums of his experimental work, including Mustt Mustt and Star Rise. He also performed traditional Qawwali live to Western audiences at several WOMAD world music festivals.

Nusrat provided vocals for The Prayer Cycle put together by Jonathan Elias, but died before the vocals could be completed. Alanis Morissette was brought in to sing with his unfinished vocals.

Apparently, when Nusrat toured in foreign countries, he would watch television commercials in order to identify the melodies and chord progressions popular in that country. He would then try to choose similar sounding songs from his repertoire for his performances.

Nusrat contributed songs to, and performed in, several Pakistani movies. Shortly before his death, he also recorded two songs for a Bollywood movie, Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, in which he also appeared.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist—a total of 125 albums.

Nusrat was taken ill with kidney and liver failure on Monday, August 11, 1997 in London, England while on the way to Los Angeles from Lahore to receive a kidney transplant. He was due to perform in a live concert later in August. While still at Cromwell Hospital, Nusrat died of a sudden cardiac arrest on Saturday, August 16, 1997, aged 48. His body was then transported back to Faisalabad, Pakistan where thousands of distraught people attended his funeral and burial procession.

Nusrat’s style of Qawwali
Nusrat is responsible for the modern evolution of qawwali. Although not the first to do so, he popularized the blending of khayal singing and techniques with qawwali. This in short took the form of improvised solos during the songs using the sargam technique, in which the performer sings the names of the notes he is singing (for example, in western notation it would be “do re mi”). He also attempted to blend qawwali music with more western styles such as techno.

Nusrat’s qawwali songs usually follow the standard form. A song begins with a short instrumental prelude played on the harmonium and tabla. Then the instruments stop, and the main singers (but not the chorus) launch into the alap, which establishes the raga, the tonal structure of the song. At this point, introductory poetic verses are sung. These are usually drawn not from the main song, but from other thematically related songs. The melody is improvised within the structure of the raga.

After the introductory verses, the main song starts, and the rhythmic portion of the song begins. The tabla and dholak begin to play, and the chorus aids and abets percussion by clapping their hands. The song proceeds in a call and response format. The same song may be sung quite differently by different groups. The lyrics will be essentially the same, but the melody can differ depending on which gharana or lineage the group belongs to. As is traditional in qawwali, Nusrat and the side-singers will interject alap solos (listen here), and fragments of other poems or even improvised lyrics (listen here). A song usually has two or three sets of refrains, which can be compared to the verse chorus structure found in western music. Songs last about 20 minutes on average, with a few lasting an hour or more.

Nusrat was noted for introducing other forms of improvisation into the style. From his classical music training, he would interject much more complex alap improvisations, with more vibrato and note bending. He would also interject sargam improvisations (listen here).

While it is undoubtedly difficult to put into words what makes Nusrat’s music appeal so deeply to so many listeners, many of whom do not understand a single word of the languages he sings in, here is one fan’s attempt to explain: “Nusrat’s music invites us to eavesdrop on a man communing with his God, ever so eloquently. He makes the act of singing a passionate offering to God. But we do not merely eavesdrop. The deepest part of Nusrat’s magic lies in the fact that he is able to bring our hearts to resonate with the music, so deeply, that we ourselves become full partners in that offering. He sings to God, and by listening, we also sing to God.”

Tributes
Eddie Vedder said, “I was lucky to work with Nusrat, a true musician who won’t be replaced in my life. There was definitely a spiritual element in his music.” Eddie Vedder also incorporated ‘Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’ into the lyrics of ‘Wishlist’ during the 98′ Yield tour in Melbourne, Australia.

The late American rock singer Jeff Buckley paid his tribute to Nusrat on the album, Live at Sin-é. In his introduction, he states, “Nusrat, he’s my Elvis,” before performing the song “Yeh Jo Halka Halka Saroor Hai.” The recording generated interest among the audience who were previously unaware of his music. He also stated in an interview, “I idolize Nusrat, he’s a god too.” Buckley died in May 1997 in Memphis, Tennessee, 3 months before Nusrat. In addition, Nusrat’s posthumously released The Supreme Collection Vol.1 has liner notes written by Buckley, to whom this album is dedicated.

In 2005, a tribute band called, Brook’s Qawwali Party was formed in New York, by percussionist Brook Martinez to perform the music of Nusrat. The 11 piece group still performs mostly instrumental jazz versions of Nusrat’s qawwalis using the instruments conventionally associated with jazz like saxophones, brass, electric guitar, double bass, djembe, drum set, and percussion rather than those with qawwali.

SPIN magazine lists Nusrat as one of the 50 most influential artists of music in 1998.

TIME magazine’s issue of November 6, 2006, “60 Years of Asian Heroes”, lists Nusrat as one of the top 12 Artists and Thinkers in the last 60 years (see article).

The Red Hot Chili Peppers wrote a tribute song about Nusrat, called “Circle of the Noose”. It has never been released. Justin Timberlake also wrote a tribute song about Nusrat , called “You’re Gone”. This song is also unreleased.

Reference: http://www.wikipedia.org

Dum Mast Qalander (My Favorite)


Sa Re Sa
Ne Sa Pa Ne Ma Pa
Ma Pa Ne Ga Re Ga Re
Sa Re Sa

Ne Sa Pa Ne Ma Pa
Ma Pa Ne Ga Re Ga Re
Sa Sa Sa Re Re Re... (More Vocables)

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Ik Vird Hai Dam Dam Ali Ali
Sakhi Laal Qalandar Must Must
Jhoole Laal Qalandar Must Must

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Akhi Ja Malanga Tu Ali Ali Ali Akhi Ja Malanga
Akhi Ja Malanga Sajea Pe Mun Lain Gay
Aj Ne Te Kal Saray Ali Ali Kain Gay
Must Must Must Must Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Ne Sa Pa Ne (...Vocables)
Aaa Aaa Aaa (...Chants)

Vocable Followed By Chants... (Nusrat And Rahat)

Rub Ne Kinne Shaan Banaye
Be Karma Te Karm Kamaye
Jehda Vi Tere Dar Te Aaye
O Na Kabhi Bhi Khaali Jaye

Ik Vird Hai Dam Dam Ali Ali
Sakhi Laal Qalandar Must Must
Jhoole Laal Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Sa Re Sa... Vocables

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Akhi Ja Malanga Tu Ali Ali Ali Akhi Ja Malanga

Aliii Maula (Nusrat)... Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Maulaaa(Rahat)
Aliii Aliiii Aliiii Aliiiii Maula (Nusrat)
Ali Maula...(Side Vocal) Ali Maula...(Nusrat) Maula Maula Maula Maulaa (Rahat)
Mauuuuulaaa Mau-Laaa Aaa...

Maula Maula Maulaaaa
Ay Maula Ali Maulaa (Nusrat)
Maula (Rahat) Maula Maula Maula Ali Maula
Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Maula Ali Maula

Akhi Ja Malanga Tu Ali Ali Ali Ali Akhi Ja Malanga
Akhi Ja Malanga Sajea Pe Mun Lain Gay
Aj Ne Te Kal Saray Ali Ali Kain Gay
Must Must Must Must Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Pa Ma Ne Da ... Vocables Folowed By Chants

Shana Uchiyaan Terian Peera
Hovan Door Haneriyaan Peera
Aasan Reh-Ma Teriya Peera
Sun Arjaa Aj Meeriya Peera

Ik Vird Hai Dam Dam Ali Ali
Sakhi Laal Qalandar Must Must
Jhoole Laal Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Ne Da Ga Ma... Vocables Followed By Chants

Nazar Karam Di Pavi Sayyan
Beriyan Banne Dhaavi Sayyan
Bhool Na Kidrey Jaawi Sayyan
Laiyaan Tod Nibhaavi Sayyan

Ik Vird Hai Dam Dam Ali Ali
Sakhi Laal Qalandar Must Must
Jhoole Laal Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam ...

Akhi Ja Malanga Tu Ali Ali Ali Ali Akhi Ja Malanga
Akhi Ja Malanga Sajea Pe Mun Lain Gay
Aj Ne Te Kal Saray Ali Ali Kain Gay
Must Must Must Must Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must

Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Mast Qalandar Must Must
Dam Maast.

http://www.last.fm/music/Nusrat+Fateh+Ali+Khan/_/Dam+Mast+Qalandar

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