|Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Ghulam Ali|
I once knew a guy in Pakistan. He was an American like me at the time. And I was jealous of his ability to speak Urdu and knowledge of the country. He had grown up there, no doubt, like I had in India but it just didn't seem fair!
Anyway, he had this predilection to always ask people, "Bada ya chota?" (Large or small). If we were ordering a karhdai for lunch and the waiter said they had chicken or meat, this guy would ask, "Bada ghosht ya chota ghost?" Which meant, "cow (large) or goat (small) meat?"
And if someone mentioned he loved the voice of Ghulam Ali he would ask, "Bade Ghulam Ali ya Chote Ghulam Ali?" I used to wince at that, after hearing the question in reference to the lunch menu.
But it did serve its purpose for it introduced me to the fact that there is more than one Ghulam Ali in the world of South Asian music. To that point my only compass point had been the ghazal artiste Ghulam Ali. I had no idea whatsoever that there was another pair of Ghulam Ali's one of whom was Big and the other Small.
Thankfully I have since discovered the wonders of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, definitely one of the top three classical vocalists to come out of the sub-continent in the past 150 years. His first LP on which he renders two moody ragas, Goonkali and Malkauns, is stupendous and I share it today with you. His melancholy but vigorous renditions meet my own wintry mood just perfectly.
The other collection is the original (for me) Ghulam Ali, master of the popular Ghazal and probably Pakistan's best known export to other parts of South Asia. This collection of ghazals includes some interesting versions of his more popular hits and is a nice complement to the majesty of the Big guy.
Track Listing (Bade)
01 Ae Kartar Poori Karo (Raga Goonkali)
02 Eree Kab Avey Sajan (Raga Malkauns)
Track Listing (Chote)
01 Dil Mein Ik Leher Si
02 Kahoon Jo Haal To Kehtay
03 Dil Walo Kya Dekh Rahey Ho
04 Gham Hai Kushi Hai
05 Tere Aane Ka Dhoka
06 Apni Dhun Mein Rehta Hoon
07 Woh Kabhi Mil Jaeen Tau
08 Ya Rub Gham-E-Hijran
09 Pattta Patta Buta Buta
10 Mohabhat Ki Ranginiyan
11 Ghum Nahin Ji Tan Se Nikla
12 Dareecha Be Sada Koi
13 Yeh Dil Hai Pagal Dil Mera
14 Sotay Aur Jaagtay