Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Qawwal and Party - Best Of, Volume One - Review
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critics' view

At the 1985 WOMAD Festival, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his Party gave one of their finest ever performances outside Pakistan. As a result Nusrat decided to record his favourite songs with new arrangements specially for WOMAD. Now re-released on Real World Records, these beautiful songs with accompanying mandolin and guitar capture the lighter folk elements of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s music.

Qawwali music is the devotional music of the Sufis, usually sung in Urdu, Punjabi or Persian. The lyrics are in praise of God (Allah), his Prophet (Mohammed), his friend (Ali) and other Muslim Saints. It is inspirational and mystical music intended to elevate the spirit, bringing both listener and singer closer to God. For the Sufis there are two kinds of grace, both equally important: “Those with melodious voices, and those endowed with the power to appreciate them.”

DEVOTIONAL SONGS. The music on this album concentrates mainly on traditional religious songs. Sufi belief is the mystical branch of Islam and advocates the use of many paths to attain a state of grace or enlightenment —a “stateless state.” Sufism is, fundamentally, a devotional form based upon the love of Allah, Mohammed and Ali. The heart of it is the heart itself. In the lyric of one of the Qawwali songs we are warned: “Do not accept the heart that is the slave to reason” which points towards the embrace of ecstasy and uninhibited release of energy which is advocated by some Sufi sects, although shunned by Orthodox Islam.

Qawwali means literally “utterance” and, like the Christian Logos or Word of God, the Qawwali is a mouthpiece of Divine Power “We do not sing — we are made to sing.”

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Real World Records was founded in 1989 by WOMAD and Peter Gabriel to provide talented artists from around the world with access to state-of-the-art recording facilities and audiences beyond their geographic region.
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