Early Gems from the Qawwali King Launched in Malaysia
Recently, the ineffable Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is pitted against Luciano Pavarotti in a feeble comparison. The trouble with most recording companies as they try to market yet another product from the most recognisable qawwali great is their eagerness to settle for the limpest of cliches.
While this is the case with The Ultimate Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Volumes I and II (EMI) – they bank on the ‘Pavarotti of the East’ prefix in the liner notes – the double disc albums do not disappoint with their tasteful selection of the late Nusrat’s past material that span six years of his career from 1978.
This time frame was precisely before Nusrat attained fame in the Western world via his releases under the Real World imprint where he demonstrated multi-dimensional sides of his vocation as a singer and savant. Two posthumous Real World albums Dust to Gold (2000) and Body and Soul (2001) capture the spirit of the traditional qawwali recorded in Nusrat’s hometown of Lahore, Pakistan…