Restocked, last copies around! A real masterpiece finally reissued, the holy grail by La Monte Young’s teacher and guru Pandit Pran Nath originally published on Shandar in 1971. The vocals are very slow and chant-like – echoing out in these really long, sustained waves that perfectly match the tabla and tamboura – very eerie at times, on two extended ragas – "Raga Yaman Kalyan" and "Raga Punjabi Berva". Rich, resonant, vibratoless tones seem to emerge from his head, his chest, his fingers, as he sits and sways slightly from side to side, describing in the air with fluid hand and arm movements the musical shapes he is sculpting from the drone of his accompanying tambouras.
"Ragas are the spiritual folkloristic way in India of playing music originating from the depths of your soul. Some of you may have heard albums by Ravi Shankar, the grand master of Indian raga, with long hypnotical tracks which do not really tell you if they are entirely improvised or strictly composed tunes when the swirling and tingling tanpura and madly spinning tabla drums get played like a maelstrom of sound. This kind of music is mostly instrumental to generate the ultimate experience of transcending flesh to spirit but in case of Pandit Pran Nath (1918 – 1996), classical Indian singer and musical teacher, you will get an ongoing captivating chanting on a base of droning tanpura and rather relaxed percussion patterns. The instruments underline the spiritual statement given by the mid ranged, slightly darker voice of Pandit Pran Nath. The tonal quality of Nath's voice is uniquely compelling, and his repetition of certain intervals over the basic drone produces a trance-like state among his listeners, or, as one put it, 'a natural high'. Featuring La Monte Young and Shyam Bhatnagar on tambouras, and tabla player Fayyaz Khan, with cover calligraphy by Marian Zazeela, the full impact of 'India's Master Musician' was set loose on Western ears through two beautifully rendered traditional ragas
Pandit Pran Nath, voice; Fayyaz Khan, tabla; Shyam Bhatnagar, La Monte Young, tamburas.