Amjad Ali Khan, 2005
Indian classical music is still essentially an oral tradition handed down. That's why the lineage or the guru is all important. The teacher (guru) is responsible for transmitting the musical knowledge and technique, and often this runs in families - most of the big-name classical musicians in India have offspring to whom they're passing on the tradition.
But there are no musicians in India with a lineage as long and illustrious as Amjad Ali Khan's. It stretches back in an unbroken link over 200 years. Imagine the outcry if one of his sons, Amaan or Ayaan, had said something unthinkable like "Hey Dad, do I have to be a musician? Can't I be a doctor?"
Moksha offers the listener a variety of ragas, including some folk music from two beautiful states of India - West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. Amjad Ali Khan named each piece according to its mood, but stresses that they are just guides, according to his (or his sons') vision while performing the piece.
I just want listeners to enjoy the music and the feelings it creates without knowing any technical background, he says. Real World had beautifully lit up some candles around the recording studio and it created a magnificent inspiration.
- Music With An Ancient Lineage The last song on this CD features Amjad Ali Khan singing. His hypnotic voice, with the surprisingly free and soulful sounds of the sarod are very liberating. Science of Mind (UK)
- A gem of an album Moksha is a gem of an album. ..... pacy, immediate and compelling music driven by a wonderful tabla accompaniment supplied by Rashid Mustafa and defined by Amjad Ali Khan's staccato attack on the Sarod's neck -- for which he is famous. Amjad Ali Khan recalls that his father never played ragas for longer than 20 minutes to avoid repetition and he defends his use of shorter pieces as being complete in themselves. The album ends with the title track, 'Moksha', named after the moment described in Hindu theology when the individual becomes free of the cycle of reincarnation and joins the Supreme Being. This relatively extended raga features the great sarod master singing for the first time on record and marks a fitting end to a series of pieces of music that effectively capture a wide and compelling range of emotions expressed through wonderful compositions. The Fly
- Live at the Royal Festival Hall Amjad Ali Khan may be a master of the sarod rather than the guitar, but once he had built up to the crescendo of his solo set ... it was easy to see why great Indian music can be as exciting as classic blues and rock... In his hands (the sarod) sounded like a versatile Asian answer to the slide guitar, capable of anything from slow, delicate work to those furious improvisations. The Guardian (UK)
- One of the 20th century's greatest masters of the Sarod... For Amjad the Sarod is more than an instrument. He is more than a slave and it is more than a master. It is a friend and a spiritual companion... Songlines Magazine (UK)
- Amjad Ali Khan is one of the undisputed masters of the instrument. The Sarod has deep, meaty notes but can then ascend to Himalayan heights... London Evening Standard (UK)
- Amjad Ali Khan is THE master of the Sarod. Accompanied by his two sons, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash, on similar instruments, they create a 57-string three-man symphony orchestra. The Times (UK)
- He is a big draw whatever and wherever he performs... The Times (India)
- Amjad Ali Khan is the most charismatic performer of Indian Ragas... New York Times (USA)
- (Amjad Ali Khan) is at the height of his inventive powers and currently unequalled... a virtuoso treat, with spark, wit and sheer fun... BBC Music Magazine (UK)
- Sarod star with a talent for dignity, worshipped in his own country for his playing... The Age, Melbourne (Australia)