Before I run off to another side of the musical universe for a while I just have to share a set of Abida Parveen songs with you.
It goes without saying that if you’re reading a blog and have even the slightest of interest in the music of Sufi Asia, Abida Parveen needs no introduction. Like her male alter ego, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, she has left a giant size imprint on the musical landscape of Pakistan and South Asia generally.
Born in the Sindhi lands of the Bhuttos, she studied with her father who operated a music school in Larkana. She travelled with him to the many urs celebrations through Sindh and Punjab where she was mesmerised by the Sufi poetry she heard sung by famous and anonymous itinerant musicians. She later spent time under the tutelage of the grand ustad Salamat Ali Khan before crashing onto the musical scene with her full voiced, enrapturing and highly animated singing.
|Gen. Zia ul Haq in poster commemorating his grisly death in a plane crash 1988.|
An instant hit, her most famous fan was President General Zia ul Haq, iron-gripped leader of Pakistan throughout the 1980s. Rather ironic that considering Zia’s promotion of strict Islamic mores and Abida’s obvious ‘un-Islamic’ stature as a female singer of religious kafian (Sufi songs).
I once had the stunning pleasure of attending one of her performances in what was then the Holiday Inn in Islamabad. It was at a rather odd hour, 4 pm. The audience looked like they were out of high tea. Well, she nearly popped every speaker in the small hall and paralysed the high society attendees with the power of her voice and gesticulations. We wandered out afterwards not quite sure what had hit us.
This is a collection from the Music Pakistan series and covers wide range of styles, tempos and poets. Another fine job. A few years ago I wrote an article in which I identified Ghoom Charkhra Sayan Da as one of the ten best South Asian songs of all time. Ten years on I see no need to retract that statement. This is elemental music of the heart that hits you in the gut!
01 Sohney Yaar Di Ghadoli (Sachhal Sarmast)
02 Ghoom Charkhra Sayan Da (Baba Shah Hussein)
03 Yaar Sajjan Ji Faraqon Mari (Shah Abdul Latif)
04 Tunhjan Waran Khunda Karam (Pir Asghar Ali)
05 Jinhan Ji Aahiyan Doongar (Shah Rasidi)
06 Munjhi Dil Ohasaan (Shah Abdul Latif)
07 Ishq Achhi Mosan (Janan Fakir)
08 Khay Doongar Dakh (Khush Khair Muhammad)
09 Pasi Garrha Gul [Rano] (Shah Abdul Latif)
10 Likh Naz Sakhyo Nawan (Shah Abdul Latif)
11 Ishq Jo Dis Israr (Khush Khair Muhammad)