Wednesday, August 15, 2007

death from above and below and along side

often i get asked...what was the best concert you have ever seen. in fact, i just got asked that recently and i said the same thing i say everytime, "i have many best concerts" yet i always return to one which is when i saw nusrat fateh ali khan perform at the university of washington. to this day my mind is completely blown away by the grace, the power and pureness of his music. i recall my friend hParker telling me about his concert and how tickets were on sale at wall of sound record store...we left the spot we were standing at and purchased them immediately. it was like yesterday i was looking at the tickets and amazed i was going to be able to see such an amazing artist - little did i know i was going to see something much bigger than i anticipated.

the concert was simply mesmerizing. quickly i was hypnotized by the polyrhythms, the harmonium, the handclaps and the yelps from the audience everytime nusrat spoke. people were dancing and it was so filled with joy and happiness, i turned to the pakastani lady sitting next to me and asked "why are people so excited" looking for an answer beyond the obvious and i got it...she told me "these songs are so old, i have not heard them and i can remember my mother playing them for me when i was young" - and friends, she was not that young herself. nusrat and party would start playing and people would leap out of their seats clapping and reaching out to the sky! i was so moved by the music and the surroundings, tears came to my eyes. it was that damn good!

nusrat fateh ali khan died ten years ago to this day and two weeks after fela kuti died - - god, i felt like the wind was taken out of my sails. let's all remember nusrat and fela and their greatness!!

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