Nikhil Banerjee | Manomanjari, Berkeley 1968

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World: World Traditions World: Indian Classical Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Manomanjari, Berkeley 1968

by Nikhil Banerjee

Live sitar concert with Mahapurush Misra on tabla, North Indian classical music, Berkeley 1968
Genre: World: World Traditions
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Alap
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18:21 $0.99
2. Jor
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14:45 $0.99
3. Slow Tintal
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25:44 $0.99
4. Fast Tintal
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5:23 $0.99
5. Jhalla
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7:52 $0.99
6. Jawab Sawal
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5:36 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
“My approach to music is very deep. I do not compromise with anybody or anything else in the world. I do not care. I want to really go beyond this materialistic world...not for the sake of enjoyment, entertainment, no. A musician must lift up the souls of the listeners, and take them towards Space.” --Nikhil Banerjee

Padmabhushan Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was one of the greatest sitarists of the 20th century. His music earned deep respect among India’s classical music aficionados as well as gaining him a devoted international following. He was the disciple of the two greatest forces in 20th Century Indian classical instrumental music, Padmavibhushan Allauddin Khan and his son Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Though he recorded many LPs, few were of live concerts, in which his leisurely, majestic raga development was unsurpassed. Mr. Baner­jee recorded more than two dozen albums, on the Indian EMI label, and for Sonodisc in France, Harmonia Mundi and Chhanda Dhara in Germany, Amigo in Sweden, and for Raga, Capitol, Connoisseur Society and Musical Traditions in the U.S. (Many of these recordings are available through the Ali Akbar College in San Rafael, CA.) Mr. Banerjee disliked being recorded, feeling that the process distracted and somewhat compromised the inner meditative quality of his music, and high fidelity live recordings are rare. To preserve his legacy and show the full scope of his musical vision, Raga Records is reproducing a series of unique live concert masters.

“I think when any musician is recording, he becomes self-conscious and he cannot give his best. But it is also true that we have lost many great musicians; now at least the next generation can get some sort of idea of their music from these recordings. I think that recording live concerts is a much better way.” -- Nikhil Banerjee

Manomanjari is a raga created by Mr. Banerjee, a mix of ragas Kalavati and Marwa. A studio recording made by Sonodisc in France included a brief 23 minute exposition of this raga (ESP 155530, 1976). It was his favorite LP. Raga Records recently released a 1972 Amsterdam performance of Manomanjari accompanied by Kanai Dutta.

Mahapurush Misra (1932-1987), a disciple of Pt. Anokhelal, was renowned for the clarity and sweetness of his tabla solos and accompaniment. He performed and recorded with many of India’s foremost musicians.


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Utterly dreadful recording quality!
N.B. This review DOES NOT relate to the artist, but the quality of the recording, or lack thereof.

I own the entire Nikhil Banerjee set of Raga Records releases and am slowly listening my way through them. Finally I get to playing 202. I am SO disappointed! Despite the ages of the performances in this series, the quality has generally been first rate. One could actually argue that the quality is 'too good', due to the lack of atmospheric and ambient noises that ground the listener in that lost moment. But with Raga 202 the recording quality is DREADFUL, the levels are all over the place, the volumes of the segments too. It actually appears mixed from a number of sources that picked up different sounds and frequencies; especially in during the Alap and Jor it is aurally all over the place. In addition to this, there are also very annoying splices and joints, where sometimes the sound actually drops out entirely between the sections of the Raag, so we loose the continuity.
I find it absolutely shocking that a reputable recording company would release something of this quality without first re-mastering it and cleaning it up. In fact, in this case, I would advise NOT releasing it at all. Rag Manomanjari exists on the Live at De Kosmos - Amsterdam 1972 - RAGA212, likewise does another performance at Berkeley: Live to Air - KPFA Berkeley 1967 - RAGA201. And it is to those recordings that I steer the reader of this review. Those like the rest of the series are worth purchasing, this is not. Not unless you love the late Pandit Banerjee so much that you want to own all the CDs he made. Thank-you.