Personnel: Hari Prasad Chaurasia (flute); Shib Sankar Ray (tabla).
Includes liner notes by Clive Bell.
Personnel: Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute).
Liner Note Author: Clive Bell.
Recording information: Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, Wales (04/29/1996).
From Indian master flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia comes this album featuring, as one would expect, four dhuns. In essence, the dhun is an instrumental version of thumri: light, semi-classical music. The first to be performed is "Pahadi," perhaps the most popular dhun in existence. It is somewhat relaxed, with a soft tone taken throughout. Second is "Shivranjani," a close relative of "Bhupal." This one is somewhat more complex, with a sharper tone taken as well. Chaurasia also uses a couple of notes that don't belong in the scale on this one, adding a bit of variety. "Rag Pilu" presents itself as the third composition, and a tiny Bengali folk piece stands as the fourth, inviting Chaurasia to improvise thoroughly over a short four-note motif. Throughout, Chaurasia's tone is sweet, carefully alternating between passages of chipper work with more contemplative passages. In general, his ability to use the bansuri for a full raga is perhaps the most outstanding feature of his repertoire, but nonetheless the shorter dhun provides a worthwhile vehicle for his music. He is held less to the stricter rules of raga by the dhun format, and takes full advantage of the looser musical rules. It's an exciting album for fans of the underappreciated bansuri, as it provides yet another look at the legacy of the only major master of the bamboo flute in Indian classical music. ~ Adam Greenberg