Shobha Gurtu

The chosen successor to influential Indian classical vocalist Begium Akhtar, Shobha Gurtu has been inspiring audiences with her husky, but, melodic, vocals for more than six decades. A master of the thumri style of singing, Gurtu was described as "expansive, spontaneous, yet laidback" by the Times Of India. Shobha received her earliest training from her mother, Menakabai Shirodkar, a well-known professional dancer. She later studied classical Indian music with Ustad Nathan Khan and light classical and popular music with Ustad Gamman Khan. After releasing dozens of recordings in India, Gurtu received a lifetime achievement award from the Maharashtra government in the early-1990s. Her first internationally distributed album was Shobha Gurtu(CMP, 1990), and her most recent work has been as a guest vocalist on albums by her son, Trilok Gurtu.
Shobha Gurtu might best be known in the West for being the mother of percussionist Trilok Gurtu, but in India she is a renowned performer in her own right, considered to be one of the nation's greatest singers of light classical music, a style which makes use of the same forms as classical but relaxes the rules a bit. The melodies are often borrowed from folk music and the usual subject is love.

On this disc, her first in the West, Mrs. Gurtu is accompanied by Sultan Khan on sarangi , Shri. Purshottam Walawalkar on Indian harmonium and Nizamundim Khan on tabla. The singer and the two melody instruments soar on "Paar Karo Kartar," a composition of great majesty by Mrs. Gurtu. Mrs. Gurtu has a rich, low voice capable of the beautiful sustains and quavers necessary for her style of music.

This disc would be a good introduction to Indian classical for the uninitiated. In Mrs. Gurtu's hands the style is graceful, passionate and, yes, accessible.

Track Title Composers Time Bit Rate
Dil Leke Muijhe Badnaam Kiva Thumri Deepchandi 21:48 320
Paar Karo Kartar Raga Bairagi 10:33 320
Aangan Mein Mat Sove 12:29 320
Phagua Brij Dekkan Ko Chali Ri Raga Basant 13:35 320

Credits: Sultan Khan (Sarangui), Nizamuddin Khan (Tabla), Shri. Purshottam Walawalkar (Harmonium)

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