A typical uttarang raga with its emphasis on the upper tetrachord, Rago Ahir Bhairav is widely considered to be a mix of Raga Bhairav and the rare Raga Ahir. Since the melodic movements in the lower half of the octave manifest the characheristic features of Bhairav, this sober but appealing raga is included in the Bhairav group. The melodic movements of Ahir Bhairav are rather complex and oblique. The vaadi swara (the note most frequently used) is 'Ma' and samvaadi swara (the second most frequently used note) is 'Sa'.
Raga Ahir Bhairav, traditionally an early morning raga, encompasses a mood of longing and anguish. Here, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi fuses these two elements in his characteristic manner. The timber of his well rounded voice and his sheer virtuosity come together to take this raga to unexplored depths. Panditji is also helped by the compositions Rasiya Mhara- a traditional bandish in the Rajasthani dialect and the ektaal drut- Aas Logi, which prove altogether conducive for him to create a wonderful impact in this performance.
Time- Early morning
Aroha: Sa Re Ga Ma (Pa) Dha Ni Sa
Avroha: Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Ma Re Sa
Thumri Tirchi Najayira
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi loves to perform thumris in his concerts. He has often mentioned that it is more difficult to sing a thumri well than to perform a khayal. In fact, in the early part of his life- the early 1940's- he spent a year in Lucknow listening to the great thumri singers of that time. This particular recording shows Panditji's mastery over this form of music and establishers his status as a complete classical vocalist.
Unquestionably brilliant and charismatic, Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi was born on 4th February 1922, in the small town of Gadag, Karnataka. Deeply influenced by the recordings of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan that he heard in the local record store, Panditji ran away from home in order to pursue his musical studies. Later after he was brought back, Panditji began his tutelage under Sawai Gandharva (Pandit Rambhau Kundgolkar), a great master of the Kirana gharana, who himself was a pupil of Abdul Karim Khan for 10 to 12 years. Relentless tuneful voice that has dazzled the entire world for decades now.
The legacy of his Guru's rich and rare musical treasures and Panditji's constant quest for newer domains has helped him develop his own distinctive style, excelling in gamakar, meend and tanakriya and adopting interesting characteristics from other gharanas. A style that without losing the sensitivity to the mood and nuances of a particular musical piece, intersperses it with rapid Taans that glide through all the three Saptaks, send blessed with an amazing understanding of the soul of the Swara and Raga, and developing mastery not only over the Khayal idiom but also over Thumri, he remains at the zenith as one of the most popular and dedicated artistes in the realm of Hindustani Shastriya Sangeet. He earned his first platinum disc in 1986. He has been honoured with the Padma Shree in 1972, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1985. For years, Pndit Bhimsen Joshi led the renaissance of Indian classical music with passion and utmost dedication. Despite changing times, he has steadfastly adhered to khayal-gayaki, even while striving to strike a balance between the yesterday and today.
The Unsung series is yet another exemplary presentation of the magnificence of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi's abundant devotion to the subject. It is a manifestation of the great inherent spirit that he has exhibited throughout his life. Each a masterpiece in itself, the unsung series is a collection of ragas and some raga-bound compositions that he has never recorded before. His boundless creativity, and his total being saar to infinite heights of fulfillment as he unleashes his talent in these recordings, filling everything with a sense of oneness with the elusive ultimate peak of Naad Brahma- the quintessential state of bliss for which every musician strives.
Recorded and Mixed at Western Outdoor Studio, Mumbai.
Engineer: Avinash Oak.
Edited by Chinmay Harshe at Insync Studios, Mumbai.
Cover photographs by Sunil Cherian.
Rag writeups by Bakul Bhavsar.
1. Raga - Ahir Bhairav Vilambit Ektaal 'Rasiya Mhara' Drut Ektaal 'Aas Laagi Main Ko Tumri'
2. Thumri (based on Raga Khamaj) Deepchandi Taal 'Tirchi Najariya Laagi Pyaari'
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi celebrates his 80th birthday with this never-before recorded collection of ragas. These have been selected by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi himself and have been recorded specially for times Music.
Vocal Support: Shrinivas Joshi
Harmonium: Sudhir Nayak
Tabla: Bharat Kamat
Tanpura: Atul Garud, Vinayak Prabhu