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  • 1-01 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
  • 1-02 Sheikh Hamza & Al-Din Wei
  • 1-04 Munadjat Yulchieva
  • 1-05 Sharam Nazeri & Ensemble
  • 1-06 Cheikh Lô
  • 2-01 Mehr & Sher Ali
  • 2-02 Mallik Family
  • 2-03 Alim Qasimov & Ferganah Q
  • 2-04 Kamkar Ensemble
  • 2-07 Asif Ali Khan

Hommage à

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Sadly, we no longer had the opportunity of presenting Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan personally with a copy of our Sufi Soul double CD, which has now been awarded the German Phonographic Critics Prize. He died on 16 August 1997, at the age of only 49. He was, to quote the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "the grand master of qawwali, that devoted, ecstatic music of the Sufi mystics". At his concerts, this raging volcano of qawwali spread a message of love that spanned the world, touching people of every race and religion. Two years ago, he was awarded the UNESCO Music Prize. He had a towering stage presence. A mountain of a man, he sang with a devotion that was positively physical. World music fans, jazz lovers and opera aficionados alike all made the pilgrimage to his concerts. Luciano Pavarotti, Keith Jarret, Yehudi Menuhin, Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'Dour, Ry Cooder, Jeff Buckley and Eddie Vedder were among his admirers. We, too, were deeply distressed to hear of his death. We had been going to his concerts since the mid-80s, had organised some in Frankfurt and were discussing a forthcoming project with him. Following his sudden death, that project was no longer possible, and we felt duty bound to honour his memory in the form of a tribute album. Network invited twelve leading Sufi singers and their ensembles to pay musical homage to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The response was profoundly moving, and they provided 14 original compositions of superb musicianship (recorded at 11 different studios in 9 different Asian, European, African and American cities) expressing their affection and respect. For their songs, the artists turned to the lyrics of early Sufi poets and contemporary authors, or wrote texts specifically dedicated to their great colleague. We were more than impressed by the sheer love with which they all approached this task. The double CD with more than two hours of playing time features Nusrat's own idol Salamat Ali Khan and his son Shafqat; Sheikh Hamza Shakkûr, spiritual leader of the Syrian Sufi; Alim Qasimov from Azerbaijan, who is already hailed as his musical successor, presents two tracks, one of them a duet with his daughter; two of the most outstanding Kurdic and Persian ensembles, Sharam Nazeri & Dastan and the Kamkar Ensemble; the Uzbeki diva Munadjat Yulchieva, who has just completed a triumphant tour of Germany; the Mallik Family, North-indian dhrupad-maestros; Pakistan's leading qawwali ensembles Mehr & Sher Ali, Abida Parveen and Asif Ali Khan with some breathtaking music; Senegal's shooting star Cheikh Lô, and, finally, a previously unreleased piece by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan himself. The booklet text was written by Pierre-Alain Baud, a close friend of Nusrat. He not only tells us of Nusrat's life, but also outlines the historical and spiritual background of qawwali and provides biographical and contentual information on each track. This double CD in book format includes a lavishly illustrated booklet with many previously unpublished photographs of Nusrat.

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