Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ustad Vilayat Khan Ustad Shujaat Khan Bequest|
Actors: Vilayat Khan, Shujaat Khan
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Has its moments but I would not buy it
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 12/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded Live at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 1993, this is a jugalbandi performance by Vilayat Khan (sitar) and Shujaat Khan (surbahar, though he's mainly a sitar player). Sabir Khan accompanies on tabla. The dvd features a full alap, jor and gat in Raga Shahana but only a bandish in Bageshri.
I don't own this dvd. Usually I review items I own. I saw it via netflix through my sister's account. Had I bought it, I would be disappointed. Shujaat's surbahar needs to be substantially louder in the mix. Oftentimes I found myself seeing him play rather than hearing him play. He is of course easier to hear in the more outgoing gat and bandish but the surbahar is one of the best instruments for alaps and the meends therein. Those are mostly inaudible on this dvd. It took me the whole first viewing to get over that fact.
Musically, I found myself wishing it was solely a Vilayat concert because his tone and playing are heard more easily and completely here. Still, it has its moments. On a sentimental level, it was lovely watching father and son take such joy in playing together, particularly since Vilayat is no longer with us.
This brings me to what makes this dvd worth some rental time. Vilayat... both his playing as well as the act of seeing him while hearing him. Shujaat has to work at it. We see him working at it, and he breaks a sweat first. For Vilayat this all looks effortless. He sits unphased. The lythe, all powerful sage. The Old Master. There are some passages here where the way the camera is on his face mixed with the beautiful river of sound flowing out of him brought tears to my eyes.
Still... I know I would be unhappy with this dvd had I paid $30 for it. It won't withstand repeated playing the way a great (and better recorded) album will. I suggest renting this, enjoying it as many times as you can before returning it, and then using that $30 to buy 2 more of Vilayat's India Archives albums or Shujaat's better jugalbandi (on sitar) performances on Shujaat Khan & Tejendra Narayan Majumdar and Raga Lalit. Or if you're up for a monumental performance by someone else altogether, you have to buy Bimal Mukherjee's Raga Darbari Kanada!
If you were considering buying this for the surbahar, I'd strongly suggest buying Raga Jansanmohini or Raga Nat Bhairav instead."