In 2004, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)- Radio National recorded an interview with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Accompanying him were Amaan and Ayaan and Rashid Mustafa on Tabla. I managed to get hold of a copy (can’t remember where from). Point to note to all sarod players – notice the clarity of the sound – no muffled strokes or “jangling” strings.
In this picture, Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan and a very young Ustad Amjad Ali Khan together. (taken from the Facebook group: Ustad Vilayat Khan – rare moments – see my links section for the link to this album)
Ustad Amir Khan influenced an entire generation of musicians, including Ustad Vilayat Khan, who changed the sitar landscape forever and in turn had a lasting impact on Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, who was inspired to develop the vocal style on the sarod as a result.
This is a release by Navras (I think) of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan talking about famous musicians who inspired him – thanks to Musicindiaonline for uploading this album. Since this is in English, it’s easily understood by everyone. In particular, I relished the Malkauns by Khansahib Bade Ghulam Ali Khan: Mandir Dekh Dare Sudama (based on the story of Sudama returning after meeting Krishna to find his hut replaced by a grand palace) – here’s a Youtube video of the original rendition : what a gem !
Lyrics are hard to follow but rasikas on the indian classical usenet group have found the following from Malti Gilani’s biography of the legendary Ustad:
mandar dekh Dare sudAmA (Sudama is fearful on seeing the temple(palace)
yA to atI morI vAm manRaiyA (my humble hut -where is it)
kaun bhUp utare, sudAmA (which king has arrived here -or- which king decided to bring down my hut)
ek taraf hAthI jhUlat hai (on one side there are elephants)
dUje asab khaRe (horses on the other side)
ek taraf shivjI baithe (on one side is Lord Shiva)
hIre ratan jaRe (decked in diamonds and other gems)
With such short lyrics, it’s hard to get definitive translation- the antara is easy for anyone knowing a bit of Hindi and related dialects of North India.
My personal favourite is Ustad Amir Khan’s “Aaj More Ghar Aayi Na Balma” -lyrics have been provided by one of the comments
I’ve been meaning to document as much useful “operational ” information about the sarod on my site for a while. This has come about mainly from questions asked by various people over time. The idea is to make all information public – I call it the Ekalavya project. I’ll share articles on the sarod from time to time – usually my own perspective only.