A Lecture Demonstration with Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, 1968
Interview with Ira Landgarten – New York Nov 9th 1985
Pandit Nikhil Banerjee – SITAR
“……My approach to music is very deep. I do not compromise. Indian music is based on spiritualism and was practiced and learned to know the Supreme Truth. A musician must lift up the souls of the listeners and take them towards Space. This is the history of Indian music……. ”
Pandit Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was amongst the finest sitarists to emerge on the classical music platform in the post-independence era. He entered the profession at a time when vocal music ruled the scene, and formidable musicians like Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and Pandit Ravi Shankar were shaping a market for instrumental music. Under such daunting conditions, he created a niche for himself in the musical culture on the strength of his originality and musicianship.
Recognition came late, but it came. When he died at the age of 55, he had been decorated with a Padmashri, a Padma Bhushan, and a Sangeet Natak Academy Award. He had, by then, cultivated a sizeable constituency in the US. Sadly enough, India discovered him after he acquired a cult-like following in the US. With Vilayat Khan and Ravi Shankar polarizing the stylistic spectrum, the domestic musical culture took time to accept a third option. Fortunately, Indian recording companies had, all along, remained interested in him, thus facilitating his re-discovery. Nikhil Bannerjee has thus become larger in his death than he was in life.
Childhood and grooming
Nikhil Babu was born at Calcutta in a conservative middle-class Brahmin family. His father, Jitendranath, and his grandfather, both, played the sitar as a hobby. But, in his family, music was frowned upon as a profession because of its association with courtesans. Young Nikhil heard his father practice every day, and developed a fondness for the instrument. His interest in learning the sitar was also discouraged out of the fear that it might interfere with his formal education. Family resistance eased when Nikhil was 5 years old, and he was given a toy sitar to start learning. By the age of seven, his prodigious talent became evident, and his father started teaching him seriously. At the age of nine, he won the All Bengal Sitar Competition and also became the youngest ever broadcaster on All India Radio.
In his childhood, he was deeply influenced by Ustad Ameer Khan, who was his sister’s teacher, and with whom he interacted extensively. He was also a great admirer of the leading vocalists of the pre-independence era – Omkarnath Thakur, Faiyyaz Khan, Kesarbai, and Roshanara Begum. In his youth, he learnt music for varying periods from musicians, who were part of his father’s circle of friends. By this process, he studied the sitar for a few months with the Seniya sitarist and surbahar exponent, Mushtaque Ali Khan, and the Tabla and vocal music with Bengal’s versatile genius, Gyan Prakash Ghosh. Thereafter, for several years he studied music with the aristocrat-musician-musicologist, Birendra Kishore Roy Choudhury.
Roy Choudhury was an exponent of the Dhrupad genre, specializing in the Sursingar, Rabab, Rudra Veena, and the Surbahar. He was an encyclopedic treasure house of old compositions. Nikhil learnt hundreds of vocal and instrumental compositions from him in a large number of raga-s. As Roy Choudhury was not an active performing musician, he advised Nikhil to go to Maihar and study with Ustad Allauddin Khan.
Once Nikhil had tackled the family resistance to the idea of a career in music, he faced an obstacle in the person of Ustad Allauddin Khan (Baba). The Ustad was over 70 by this time, and in no mood to accept any more students. After much persuasion, Baba agreed to listen to Nikhil’s next radio broadcast, and then decide whether he would teach him. Baba heard the broadcast, and pronounced it a piece of rubbish. But, he saw a hidden spark in Nikhil’s playing, and accepted him as a disciple. Nikhil packed his bags and left for Maihar to live and study with his Ustad.
Then started Nikhil’s five-year long saga of studying under the greatest and, by all accounts, the most difficult, Ustad of the era. Baba had mastered several instruments, but not the sitar. Therefore, he taught his sitar students by singing the music, and allowing them to find their own technique for executing it. Baba consciously and systematically also steered Nikhil’s music into a direction distinctly different from that of his other sitarist disciple, Ravi Shankar. When Baba was satisfied that Nikhil was ready for the real world, he allowed him to launch his career.
Even after launching himself in the profession, Nikhil did not stop being a student. Baba was too old by then. So, Nikhil spent five years in Bombay, studying with Baba’s son, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Thereafter, whenever he visited Bombay for concerts, Nikhil would also go to Baba’s daughter, Annapurna Devi, and take lessons from her.
A look at Nikhil Bannerjee’s discography reveals his musical personality. Amongst available recordings — published and unpublished — the vast majority of the ragas featured are popular mature ragas like Darbari, Lalit, Marwa, Shree, Bairagi, Patdeep and Bhimpalas. In addition, there are “patent” ragas of the Maihar-Senia lineage — Chandranandan composed by Ali Akbar Khan, and Hemant reportedly conceived by Alauddin Khan.
The listing also has a handful of raga-s adopted from the Carnatic tradition — Basant Mukhari (Vakulabharanam), Charukeshi and Kirwani. Semi-classical ragas seemed to have had a minor presence in his repertoire. I came across a Bhairavi rendering of his, in which he has treated the raga like a classical raga, rather than the more common thumree-style liberal treatment. I also observe that, although he did perform in the modern medium-tempo Jhaptal and Roopak, a majority of his recordings are in the traditional Tritala format.
These are indications that he was a musician of orthodox temperament in the classicist mold, who kept his music accessible, and occasionally displayed his mastery over the specialist repertoire of his lineage.
Unlike his Maihar seniors — Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar — Nikhil Bannerjee had only a minor presence as a duet artist. He is known to have performed duets only with Ali Akbar Khan. In addition to several stage concerts, the two also played brief (3 mts.) duets for a Bengali film, Kshudita Pashan (Hungry stones) and a Hindi film, Pheri.
Nikhil Banerjee entered the profession at the toughest possible period of history. As he told the American journalist-photographer, Ira Landgarten in an interview (1986): “Of course, I had confidence after learning from Allauddin Khansahib but there was a great point in front of me: Vilayat Khan was there, and Ravi Shankar-ji was there, Ali Akbar Khansahib was there, and all these great stalwarts just in front of me! Until I’ve got some sort of individuality, who will listen to my music? After coming from Maihar, I was a little nervous for some time and I was really searching for a way to cut my own path because these three great instrumentalists hadn’t left a single point through which to take up and dig out your own way… As a whole [complete] performer, how to place your individuality in front of these great instrumentalists? These three great instrumentalists have not neglected a single phrase or portion of Indian classical music; they’ve got their own individuality and are really great”.
As it turned out, Nikhil Banerjee did emerge as an original musician, whose style appeared to blend the finest features of the Dhrupad-derived Maihar (Ravi Shankar) style, with those of the Khayal-inspired Etawah (Vilayat Khan) style. This was not surprising considering that, Ustad Allauddin Khan had channelized Nikhil Babu’s musical energies in a direction different from that of Ravi Shankar, and other mentors had also given him a musical vision unfettered by either of the dominant sitar styles. It is inconceivable that Nikhil Banerjee should have developed his middle-of-the-road style as a conscious strategy because he was a conscientious musician, answerable only to his art.
He told Ira Landgarten (1986): “Music is such a thing that through your music you can be judged. It’s not any particular way, it’s from the experience because through music you express yourself. My approach to music is very deep. I do not compromise with anybody or anything else in the world. I do not care, I don’t care if anybody appreciates it or not; I don’t care. When I start I always like to play better, nice, good, heavenly music. I want to really go beyond this materialistic world towards Space — there, no compromise. I really want to know — not for the sake of enjoyment, entertainment, no. In the beginning portions –naturally. With tabla, that’s another chapter, a completely different chapter; the intricacies and mathematics are there. A musician must lift up the souls of the listeners, and take them towards Space.”
Despite entry at a difficult time for Sitarists, and departing early, Nikhil Bannerjee made it to the big league. Fortunately for the music world, he also left a large number of recordings in the personal archives of collectors and with All India Radio. Many of these have now been released in India and abroad. As a result, today, Nikhil Bannerjee has a fanatical following amongst segments of music lovers, who hungrily devour every recording of his they can lay their hands on.
(© Deepak S. Raja, 2011)
On January 27, 1986, the world of music lost one of its greatest artistic geniuses when, at the relatively young age of 54, the Indian classical sitarist Nikhil Banerjee died of a heart attack. Though largely unknown outside the realm of Indian classical music, Nikhil Banerjee was considered a towering figure by Indian classical enthusiasts in India and around the world.
Nikhil Banerjee was 16 years old when Allauddin Khan accepted him as a disciple, inviting the young sitarist to live with him in the time-honored Indian guru-disciple tradition. Allauddin Khan’s influence on Nikhil Banerjee was profound. The sitarist modeled his life in many ways on his guru, having little interest in wealth and luxury. Nikhil Banerjee later said that his whole life, as well as his attitude toward music was changed by Allauddin Khan: “He had a strong antipathy toward anything narrow in the sphere of teaching. He was a teacher incarnate with the purest vibration. Any student, if really deserving, had from him the shower of his blessings, and by the sheer touch of his genius felt quite transformed. I consider him as really incomparable.”
“I’ve been asked, ‘You and Ravi Shankar being disciples of the same person, why are your styles and approaches to music different?’ This is because my teacher understood. The first time I went to [Allauddin Khan] the first thing my teacher said, ‘I will channelize you in a different way, I will put you in a different way than Ravi Shankar. There will be no similarity.’ ”
Acknowledging influences, Nikhil Banerjee never appropriated specific musical ideas. His ability to synthesize the finer qualities of these diverse styles to create his own voice, along with his genius and great critical understanding of the music and his instrument made his performances among the most masterful of his era. Technique was never a goal in and of itself but was used as a necessary tool, developed to express the content and essence of the music.”
“Thanks to his own innovations, Nikhil Banerjee was able to play with breathtaking speed and power without compromising tone and clarity. Both his command of Raga and his rhythmic ingenuity were beyond question, but the feature which really marked him out was the ability to transform into musical sound moods of love, pathos, and even fury, speaking directly to the heart of the listener.”
-Martin Clayton, Professor of Music
Though an extremely accomplished musician, Nikhil Banerjee never stopped studying the almost fathomless depths of Indian classical music, continuing his training with Allauddin Khan’s son, Ali Akbar Khan, and daughter, Annapurna-Devi. Ali Akbar Khan recalls, “After the first few years with my father, Nikhil was sent to learn from me. Nikhil learned from me for a total of 15 years. I brought him to play with me on the radio, on stages all over India, and on movies in Calcutta. After I left India to come to America, he received guidance from my sister, Annapurna.”
Nikhil Banerjee and Ali Akbar Khan performed over a thousand jugalbandis (duets) over their many years together and developed a deep teacher-disciple association and personal relationship that lasted to the end of Nikhil Banerjee’s life. “I am very much influenced by and have learned from Ali Akbar Khan,” Nikhil Banerjee said. “I consider him one of the greatest living musicians of the world.”
Of Nikhil Banerjee, Ali Akbar Khan said, “I felt Nikhil to be like my own brother. Whenever I played with him I enjoyed it so much. Nikhil’s death was a great shock to me. A very sad thing was that my father taught him in quite a different style than all of the others. Therefore Nikhil was quite different from the other artists.”
Nikhil Banerjee’s mastery of technique and incredible command of his instrument was recognized throughout the world of Indian music. Although his technical virtuosity was stunning, it was balanced by a meditative, introspective, and lyrical approach that, owing to his seriousness and dedication, reached a depth of expression rarely achieved by others. A dedicated artist, he was happy to share his exceptional gift. He was known and respected for his wisdom, gentle character, generosity, and commitment to his music. To Nikhil Banerjee, music was a path of self-realization, to be performed in a spirit of prayer. While playing, he would completely immerse himself in the Raga. As he told his students, “Submit to the notes of a Raga, do not strike it, but try to embrace it with the purest feelings of your heart.”
Nikhil Banerjee played a significant role in the extraordinary rise in popularity of Indian instrumental music, and the sitar in particular, over the past half century. To many Indian classical music enthusiasts, he was the most outstanding sitar maestro of the modern era. A warm and accessible person, shy and unpretentious, he deliberately shunned publicity. He played with dignity, without flamboyance or theatrics, concerned more with the integrity of the music than the response of his audience. As a result, he received very little media attention.
“Deeply absorbed in his art, he had no interest in becoming a media celebrity. There was a mystical element in his music, a contemplative, detached intensity. His music displayed a rare assimilation of classical exactitude and emotional freedom. Nikhil Banerjee’s art was an amalgam of the best in Indian Hindustani music in all its beauty, grandeur, and dignity. His music was more ennobling, more fulfilling, and deeply contemplative. Few artists have been able to bring out its character with such imaginative depth and sensitivity.”
(Courtesy of -Mohan Nadkarni, music critic)
In recognition of his greatness, Nikhil Banerjee was posthumously given one of the Indian government’s highest civilian awards, that of Padmabhushan. (Lotus Adorned Master)
Nikhil BanerjeeBorn in Calcutta on October 14, 1931, Nikhil Banerjee`s first teacher was his father, Jitendra Nath Banerjee, a noted sitarist. Young Nikhil grew into a child prodigy, and at age 9, becoming the youngest musician employed by All-India Radio. Jitendranath approached Mushtaq Ali Khan to take the boy as a disciple, but was turned down, instead Birendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury, the zamindar of Gouripur in present-day Bangladesh, was responsible for much of Nikhil`s early training.
In 1947 he became a disciple of the revered guru, Baba Allauddin Khan. At first, Baba Allauddin did not want to take on more students, but changed his mind after listening to one of Banerjee`s radio broadcasts. Giving up his concert career, Nikhil Banerjee spent the next seven years studying under Allauddin Khan at Maihar. He was also taught by Baba Allauddin Khan`s son, the famous sarod maestro, Ali Akbar Khan.
Nikhil Banerjee`s first appearance, after this retreat, at the Tansen Music Conference in Calcutta in December 1954, was enthusiastically received. Numerous foreign tours followed from 1955 onwards. Pandit Nikhil Banerjee`s total mastery over all the nuances of sitar playing, his ability to flawlessly analyze each raga and apply it in his music and his incredible command of his instrument was recognized throughout the world of Indian music. His stunning technical virtuosity was balanced by a meditative, introspective, and lyrical approach that, owing to his dedication, reached a depth of expression rarely achieved by others. In India, his performances are especially known for the purity of his classical style and the intense vitality of his improvisations.
In 1968 he was awarded the Indian Government title Padma Shri and in 1974, the Sangeet Natak Akademi (the National Academy of Performing Arts) Award. His last public performance was in Calcutta on Friday 24th January 1986. The world of music lost one of its greatest artistic geniuses when Nikhil Banerjee died of a heart attack on January 27, 1986. In recognition of his greatness, he was posthumously given one of the Indian government`s highest civilian awards, the Padmabhushan.
(Courtesy of ITC online)
Nikhil Banerjee – Discography
Last update 12th August 2011.
This discography includes what I know about LP/Cassette/CD recordings of Nikhil Banerjee, presented by label.
The earlier recordings were on EMI and related company LP issues, many subsequently reissued on cassette then CD. These provide a fair account of studio recordings with a limited performance timespan imposed by the medium. (Nikhil Banerjee is said to have disliked performing this way).
The mid-90s saw the release of some interesting AIR (All India Radio) material.
More recently the companies Raga Records and Chhanda Dhara have released an extraordinary series of CDs of Nikhil’s live performances, which are the best guide to the actual concert experience of listening to this great sitar exponent, who is often regarded as the 20th century’s master of the instrument and its music.
Anthologies and compilations with a mixture of Nikhil Banerjee and other artists’ recordings have been largely ignored where the tracks on these are included within the solo albums below.
Many of these issues are out of print.
78RPM – Unknown publisher
78 rpm record with Ali Akbar Khan for the Bengali film “Kshudita Pashan”.
A precomposed musical piece for a kathak dance sequence.
Thumri by Amir Khan on reverse.
AIR Immortal Series SICCD aka T series (CDS)
SICCD 064 AIR 1 1962-66 issued 1995
Rageshree with Karamatullah Khan
Miyan ki Todi with Karamatullah Khan
Nat Bhairav with Gyan Prakash Ghosh
SICCD 065 AIR 2 1967 issued 1995
Bhatiyar with Shyamal Bose
Thumri Pilu with Shyamal Bose
SICCD 066 AIR 3 1965 issued 1995
Desi with Karamatullah Khan
Maru Bihag with Shyamal Bose
SICCD 067 AIR 4 1960-70 issued 1995
Chandra Kauns with Shyamal Bose
Hem Bihag with Shyamal Bose
SICCD 068 AIR 5 1970 issued 1995
Bilaskhani Todi with Shyamal Bose
SICCD 127 AIR Immortal Series ? issued 1992
01 Desh with Samta Prasad
02 Mishra gara with Premballabh
03 Rachna thumri ang with Chatur Lal
04 Rachna Khamaj thumri with Samta Prasad
AIR Akashwani Sangeet issued 2006, recorded “mid 1970s”
AIR (C-ARCH) H-26
No tabla credit?
Amiga ?GDR 1986
Master of the Sitar LP AMIGA 856202
1 Nat Bhairav
2 Tabla solo Teental
3 Baul Melody
Another version of the Chhandra Dhara SP 7082
Amigo Stockholm 1975 LP plus CD rereleases
AMLP 822 Pilu AMLP 831 Desh rel 1978/1979? Sweden
BRGP1042/3 Oriental Records rel 1983 US (lp labels swapped in error)
Desh with Anindo Chatterjee
Pilu with Anindo
Also released by Audiorec on CD as ARCD 2005 (1989) and ARCD 2007 (1993) Also see Esperance
Re-released by Amigo on CD as AMCD 904 & 905 in 1999/2001 resp.
“These two CD’s are still available from Country & Eastern records, Sweden at the very reasonable price of £5.
In my opinion the remastering of Piloo is better on the AMCD 904 than on the Audiorec version of same.” (quote L.F. June 2011)
AMMP9405 Signature Series Vol 4 Nikhil Banerjee Ali Akbar Khan 1973 cassette rereleased on CD
Original LP Connoisseur Society CS2055 1973
Nikhil Banerjee Ali Akbar Khan – Manj Khamaj with Mahapurush Misra
Nikhil Banerjee Ali Akbar Khan – Misra Mand with Mahapurush Misra
Atlantis Magnasound cassette and CD reissues
ANC003 Maestro Atlantis Music Classical Heritage of India cassette issued 2000
No tabla player credited, date unknown – reissued cd DSAV 1039 (Multitone, Prestige, BMG)
also D3HI0623 & AMCD003
And “Classical Treasures” Vol 2 EMI 2001
01 – Khambaz
02 – Yaman Bilawal
03 – Miyan ki Todi
C3HI0631 Magnasound The Legend Lives On cassette issued 1993
No tabla player credited on cassette, reissued on CD D3H10631 1996 OMI music May 21 1996
01 Chandrakauns (with Shyamal Bose 1970 – see SICCD 067 above) 28:44
02 Ahir Bhairav (probably with Keramatulla Khan, unknown date) 29:19
And “Classical Treasures” EMI 2001
BANDALOOP – Gara OHRWASCHL Live Concert release 2000 CD
Gara with Shankar Lal 1973
Hemant with Shankar Lal 1973
Bestell 20-29101-4 Harmonia Mundi (Freiburg) vinyl
Tabla player Faiyaz Khan date not known
01 – Charukeshi
02 – Bhairavi
Biswas Records BIS62 Musician’s Musician issued 1997
No tabla player credited, date unknown. Abhijit Banerjee on tabla Alternative title Pandit Nikhil Banerjee Lives Forever/The Best Sitar Player.
Wolverhampton, England 1984
01 – Charukeshi (CD 1)
02 – Shyam Kalyan (CD 2)
Chhanda Dhara SNCD CD series (and SP LPs)
Alltime Classic Special Birthday Anniversary Release 2003
SNCD 70203 Special Birthday Anniversary Release Vol 1
Bageshree 01 alap
Bageshree 02 rupak and tintal with Ustad Faiyaz Khan 1971 Stuttgart
SNCD 70803 Special Birthday Anniversary Release Vol 2
01 Behag with Ustad Faiyaz Khan
02 Pancham se Gara with Ustad Faiyaz Khan 1971 Stuttgart
03 Pahadi with Anindo Chaterjee
Also released as SNCD 701/702
Indias Maestro of Melody Live Concert Series
SNCD 71198 Live Concert Vol 1 Malkauns released 1998 Probably 1982
Malkauns-Alap,Jor,Gats slow-medium teental with Samir Chatterjee live at Bath England
SNCD 70499 Live Concert Vol 2 released 1998
Hemant gats with Anindo Chatterjee live Tubingen 1975
SNCD 70600 Live Concert Vol 3 released 2000 (see also CDNF150423 & CDNF150424 below for this performance)
01 Marwa alap jor
02 Puriya Kalyan gats not purabi with Swapan Choudhuri AACM San Rafael 12 Oct 1985
SNCD 70900 Live Concert Vol 4 released 200?
01 – Light classical Thumri with Swapan Choudhuri AACM San Rafael 12 Oct 1985
SNCD 70702 Live Concert Vol 5 released 200?
02 Bhoop Kalyan with Zakir Hussain, San Francisco 1976
SNCD 71003 Live Concert Vol 6 released 2003
03 Khamaj in thumri style with Ustad Faiyaz Khan London 1971
SNCD 71104 Live Concert Vol 7 released 2004
Maru Behag 01 Alap jor
Maru Behag 02 gats teen ektaal with Anindo Chatterjee Bath, England, 1980
SNCD 70391 Lyrical Sitar issued 1982
Lyrical Sitar – 01 – Raga Nat-Bhairav
Lyrical Sitar – 02 – Raga Mishra-Khamaj
Lyrical Sitar – 03 – Baul Melody (Folk Tune) with Anindo Chatterjee date unknown
Released LP SP 7082
SNCD 8886 Immortal Sitar issued 1986
01 purabi kalyan with Anindo Chatterjee
02 Zila Kafi with Anindo Chatterjee
03 Kirwani with Anindo Chatterjee 1985?
1st 2 tracks released cassette?cd? Two Romantic Ragas C-46 HD-1439 and on LP SP5881 rel 1983
The Genius of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee Live Concert Series
SNCD 71294 Live Concert Series 1
Shyam Kedar – with Zakir Hussain San Francisco 1985
Raga Records discography states –
“I believe this to be Mr. Banerjee’s only digital live recording. The packaging states “Recorded live from a concert in Canada.” Actually Festival from India, San Francisco October 6, 1985”
SNCD 70595 Live Concert Series 2 issued 1996
Shri – with Anindo Chatterjee London 1985?
SNCD 70296 Live concert series 3 issued 1996?
Rageshree with Anindo Chatterjee, probably same dates/tour as no. 2
SNCD 71096 Live concert series 4 issued 1996
Abhogi with Anindo Chaterjee, Stockholm
SNCD 70198 Live Concert Series 5 issued 1998
Puriya Dhanashree with Abhijit Banerjee London 1984 24/11/84?
Chhanda Dhara LPS
SP 4179 Master of the Sitar LP issued 1979
02 Mishra-Khamaj with Anindo Chatterjee
SP 5881 “N.B. plays Two Romantic Ragas”
Purabi Kalyan + Zila-Kafi w/Anindo-re-released as CD
SP 7082 “Raga, Baul Melody & Tabla Solo”
01 Nat-Bhairav / 03 Baul Melody(Folk tunes)/ both re-released as CD , and
02 Tabla solo (Teental) 12:20, w/Anindo not re-released.
DD Archives DD Archives – Audio from # RSR/05/02-DVD
Raga Sudha Rasa
Maluha Kalyan with Anindo Chatterjee
EASD and related EMI releases LP and Cassette
EASD 1305 1966 and Cassette STCS 02B 6230
Komala Rishab Asawari
Mishra Gara with Kanai Dutt
EASD 1342 1969 and Cassette STCS 02B 6222
02 Bhatiyar with Keramatola Khan
also released as Ragas for Meditation (Capitol ST-10518) 1969 01 Bhatiyar 02 Hemant
EASD 1355 1968 and LP ASD 2394
01 – Lalit
02 – Sindhu Bhairavi – Madhyalaya, Drut Sitarkhani
03 – Puriya Kalyan with Kanai Dutta Alap, Madhyalaya an Drut Teental “Vikram” Jasani tanpura
Puriya Kalyan rereleased on saregama “First Time on CD” CD.
EASD 1377 1972/3? and Cassette STCS 02B 2405 – Sohini, Megh
01 – Sohini
02 – Megh with Swapan Chaudhuri
EASD 1378 1973 emi and Cassette STCS 02B 6223
Mand with Swapan Chowdhuri
EASD 1450 1978/88? In Memoriam – Sitar from the Concert Hall Volume 2
Hem-Bihag with Kishen Maharaj, tabla see also HMV cassettes
Rereleased on saregama “First Time on CD” CD.
“Live from Rabindra Sadan 1978 organised by Malhar”
Vilambit Madhya, Drut teental, Ektaal
EASD 1459 and Cassette STCS 02B 6204 “Live at San Rafael , USA ”: Raga
Khamaj & Ragamala (same as EASD 1465)
EASD 1465_1466 and cassette releases STCS 02B 6215/16 1988 – Padmabushan NB In Concerts
1465: Side 1 Raga Khamaj- Gat Vilambat-Rupak, Side 2 Raga Khamaj – Gat
Madhyalaya-Rupak, Ragamala- Gat Drut-Teental
with Swapan Chowdhury AACM San Rafael
1466: Side 1 Raga Mishra Shivranjani – Gat Vilambat-Rupak,
Side 2 Raga Mishra Shivranjani – Gat Vilambat & Drut – Rupak & Teental
with Anindo Chatterjee BITS (Birla Insitute), Pilani, Rajasthan * with drut gat in Kirwani?
EASD 1473-74 aka 6244_6245 released 1989
Puriya Kalyan gats with Swapan Chowdhury AACM 1985 (see Chhanda Dhara)
EASD1490 Live at Berkeley 1991 (???) – No info on this.
EASD 1490 and Cassette STCS 02B 6274 “Live in Berkeley , USA ”:
Ragas Chandrakaush; Mishra Kafi & Khamaj (possibly same as RAGA 201 ???)
EAST/D 1318 1967 Malkauns Hem Lalit also Cassette STCS 04B 7426
01 – Malkauns
02 – Hem Lalit with Kanai Dutt
also released by Capitol International Series, ST 10502 The Sitar Genius of Nikhil Banerjee 1967
and by EMI (Australia) Ltd. under the HMV label, with the same title OASD 7538.
ECSD 2600 From The Concert Hall issued 1980 also HMV/RPG cassette STCS 04B 7477
Adana with Kishen Maharaj
EMI CMC 1 82502 Chairmans Choice Great Gharanas – Maihar II issued 1994
Great Gharanas – Maihar II – 01 – Puriya Kalyan cf EASD 1355 (Kanai Dutta not Swapan)
The EMI LP catalogue has been extensively mined and reissued for CD including:-
PSLP 5072: Megh alap, jhaptal, Sohini tintal (tabla Swapan Chaudhuri); Malkauns slow and fast tintal, Misra Gara sitarkhani (tabla Kanai Dutt) (From LPs EASD 1305, EAST 1318, EASD 1377.)
PSLP 5301: Komal Rishab Asavari alap, jor, gat in tintal, dhun (tabla Kanai Dutt); Jaunpuri slow and fast tintal, Mand sitarkhani (tabla Swapan Chaudhuri)
PSLP 5301 Komal Rishab Asavari, Jaunpuri Kania Dutt
See also HMV cassette listings
“Morning to Midnight Ragas” Originally 6 cassette set
Melodies of Noon and Dusk EMI CD PSLP 5128 (1989)?
Mand, teental 7.53
ESP – Disques Esperance vinyl – reissued Sonodisc CDs ESPCD
ESPCD\ESP 155530 1975 Paris
Bengal Folk Tune with Anindo Chaterjee studio recording December 1975
ESPCD\ESP 8402 issued 1983
Jogiya Kalingada with Anindo Chatterjee
ESPCD\ESP 8414 1983
Traditions Classiques de l’Orient Vol. 16
Patdeep with Anindo Chatterjee
The order of the alap and gat is swapped on the CD version.
ESP 165540 LP: Raga Desh (same as Amigo)
ESP 165504 LP. Raga Piloo (same as Amigo)
First Hand Records
2011 – The BBC Sessions – Nikhil Banerjee and Anindo Chatterjee. Recorded 22/11/1978 & 01/12/1981. Rag Desh & Kedar. 2 CD set.
Gathani cassette? and CD
Gathani 1010 A Rare Classic Collection rel 1992, date not known, 1984.
Manomanjari (alap, jor, gat in vilambit teental), with Abhijit Banerjee aka Bandopadhyaya (see below)
Republished as CD, catalog # CDC 3004
CDC 3011 Gathani 1011 A Rare Classic Collection issued 1992? Cd issued 2002, date not known 1984.
01 – Marwa – Gat in Vilambit & Drut Teental
02 – Mishra Khamaj – Gat in Drut Teental
Tabla player credited on CD to Abhijit Banerjee. (By Raga Records discography to Abhijit Bandopadhyaya).
Abhijit confirmed the performances were from the 1984 Europe/US tour.
6TCS 02B 1156 Monsoon Mood with Ali Akbar Khan 1980
(01 – Ali Akbar Khan – Desh Malhar – with Shankar Ghosh)
02 – Nikhil Banerjee – Megh – with Swapan Chowdhury
Musicassette 6TC 02B 5187 1980/1982?
01 Hem Lalit
03 Sindhu Bhairavi
04 Mishra Gara -with Kanai Dutt
Hem Lalit has been reissued in compilations eg Unique Dawn – Rare Morning Ragas
STCS 02B 6194 1978 Rabindra Sadan In Memoriam 88 HMV cassette
Hem Behag with Kishen Maharaj
from EASD 1450 (LP) Rereleased on saregama “First Time on CD” CD
Musical traditions – Berkeley 1978 St Johns aka Purple Egg Production – Cassette
Manj Khamaj with Anindo Chatterjee – August 1978
NRCD 0131 Navras Total Absorption CD Navratna The Great Master
Surdasi Malhar with Abhijit Banerjee Live October 1984 Uni Chicago
Republished Sony Legends Forever
NRCD 0225 Pratibha Released 2011
Raga Yaman Kalyan – Anindo Chatterjee on tabla.
Live at Museee Guimet, Paris 2nd November 1983.
Q-MI-CJ-010 Hemant with Sankha Chatterjee Germany 1977 pub 2010
Q-MC-CA-002 Hindustani Classiest Classical mp3 compilation Raga ?? short piece previously unpublished
Q-MC-CA-001 Timeless Ragas On The Time compilation Raga ?? short piece previously unpublished
Q-MI-CJ-038 Gauri Manjari with Swapan Chaudhuri alap/vilambit teental/drut ektal early ‘80s pub 2011
Raga Music Communications
Nikhil Banerjee – Legends Live – Issued Calcutta 2007
Surdasi Malhar (live)
Miyan ki Malhar (live alap)
(with same raga by Bidushi Roshanara Begum)
Shuddha Basant, Bhairavi
“A rehash of the Venus double album”
Mishra Shivranjani, Sindhura and Adana
“edited versions of the ones published by HMV”
Raga Records Tapes and CDs
RR201 1967 Berkeley tape and cd
Chandrakaush (alap only)
Khamaj with Mahapurush Misra
RR202 1968 Berkeley tape
Manomanjari with Mahapurush Misra
RR207 1982 Berkeley concert part 1 2 cds
Purabi Kalyan (The 100 Minute Raga) with Swapan Chaudhuri
RR204 1982 Berkeley concert part 2
Mishra Kafi with Swapan Chaudhuri
RR211 1970 Rotterdam Afternoon Ragas
02 Multani with Kanai Dutt
RR212 Amsterdam de Kosmos 1972
212b Sindhu Khamaj with Zamir Ahmed Khan
RR214 Amsterdam 1970
Hemant with Kanai Dutt
RR216 1965 Morning Ragas Bombay 2cds
Bhairavi with Nikhil Ghosh
RR217 Munich 1980
Malgunji with Anindo Chatterjee
RR218 Amsterdam 1984
Gawoti with Abhijit Banerjee 3/11/84
RR225 Live, Munich 1976
Shree Rag with Swapan Chaudhuri
RR227 Live 30/12/1964, Chennai issued 2010
Bhairavi with Prem Vallabh
RPG label CDNF (saregama)
CDNF 150423_4 Sunset Serenity
Sunset Serenity – Live in San Francisco I (CDNF150423) – Marwa – Alap-Jor-Jhala
Sunset Serenity – Live in San Francisco II (CDNF150424) – Puriya Kalyan – Gats with Swapan Chowdhuri
1985 – see Chhanda Dhara. This version may have fuller coverage of the Puriya Kalyan.
CDNF 150012 Sitar Recital I – CD issued 1989 (compilation – see PSLP 5072)
01 – Megh with Swapan Chowdhury alap and jhaptal
02 – Malkauns with Kanai Dutt (complete) vilambit drut teental
03 – Sohini with Swapan Chowdhury Short Alap and Gat
04 – Mishra Gara with Kanai Dutt Sitarkhani gat
CDNF 150043 Padmabhushan NB CD issued 1991 (another compilation – see PSLP 5301)
Komal Rishabh Asavari – alap, jod & gat in teentaal
Jaunpuri – gat vilambit & drut in teentaal
Mand – gat in sitarkhani taal
Dhun – baul (folk tune)? with Kanai Dutt
no info available as to track provenance
Jaunpuri also on CDNF150166, compilation with other artists.
“First Time on CD” CDNF 150871
Hem Behag .
See EMI/HMV for original issues of these tracks.
CDNF 150859 compilation from EASD releases 2008
Pride of Bengal Pandit Nikhil Banerjee Classical Instrumental Sitar
1 Bhatiyar (1969)
2 Maluha Kalyan ‘1966)
3 Mishra Gara (1966)
4 Hem Lalit (1967)
CDNF 151000 String Instruments of India
Raga ? “From Sangeet Natak Akademi archives.
CDNF 150104 Rare Morning ragas
Hem Lalit-Alap & Gat in Dhamar Taal Kanai Dutt?
CDNF ?? Best of Sitar
CDNF 150045 Triveni
Hem Behag – w Kishen Maharaj ?
CDNF 150063 Monsoon Melodies 1991
Megh alap and jhaptal?
Sagarika S500454 CD(DDD) Apr 2005 “Selection”
As for Atlantis ANC003 with spurious dhun Bhatiyali from Shahid Parvez
01 – Khambaz
02 – Yaman Bilawal
03 – Miyan ki Todi
04 – Bhatitali dhun
3 CD Set S-3PK-0008 Published 11/09
Lalit with Mahapurush Mishra
Alaap followed by Gat in Vilambit Jhamptaal & Drut in Teentaal
Patdeep with Shankar Ghosh
Alaap & Jod followed by Gat in ilmabit Teentaal and Drut in Teentaal
Shuddha Basant with ?
Alaap & Jod
Hemant Gat in Vilambit Teentall Drut & Jhala in Teentaal
Compilation Sagarika set S50040/41/42/434 2004
Ragas and Time of the Day (4 CD Album)
Includes Chandrakauns Aalap Jod & Gat
VCCD207/8 VENUS Shuddha Basant etc VCBG – 015016 issued March 1993
aka Melody MCD-207/208 – live in Calcutta with Kumar Bose probably March 1985
Reissued as Pt. Nikhil Banerjee (Sitar Vadan) Vol.1 2011 MOD and MP3 24:17+23:27 Vol 2 20:54+21:21
cd1 Shuddha Basant alap jod vilambit teental
cd2 Shuddha Basant (cont) drut teental
Bhairavi Alap,Gat In Maddhya Laya Rupak,Gat In Drut Teentaal
Bonus track (!)
Tilda Basmati Rice Commercial
Washington Bangla Radio
Nikhil Dhwani (vocal)
Tracklist of Washington Bangla Radio mp3 CD
Released October 2010
Rabindrasangeet (Tagore Songs)
1. Ashru Nadir Sudur Pare Ghat Dekha Jay
2. Shyamal Chhaya Nai Ba Gele
Raag Pradhan (Raaga Based)
3. Aasi Bole Keno Elo Na
4. Tomay Ami Peyechi To Jatobar
5. A Tribute To My Friend (Raag: Jog) – A Sarod Recital by Pt. Buddhadeb Dasgupta
DD Archives # RSR/05/02-DVD
Raga Sudha Rasa
Maluha Kalyan with Anindo Chatterjee
The discography of Raga Records was very helpful in providing the impetus and backbone for this discography.
Karl-Michael Schneider’s listing of EMI/HMV early releases helped considerably, as did Bernhard Bruechig’s additional details
Amongst many friends who have contributed information via the internet, Julianna and Bruce are notable for their dedication to accumulating information on ICM and correlating it.
Kanti has a huge and well-documented collection of ICM cds and is generous in sharing his knowledge.
Thanks Abhimonyu for the detail of the rare 78.
Thanks to Louis for additional data.
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