Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar & Zia Fariduddin Dagar: Raag Komal Ri Asavari
Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, vocal
Zia Fariduddin Dagar, vocal
K. Sridhar, tanpura
01. Komal Ri Asavari – Alap 39:07
02. Komal Ri Asavari – Jor Jhala 35:08
03. Todi 20:25
Recorded 1967-11-21 in Ustad Zia Mohiuddin’s flat in Chembur.
Recording, photos and production by Bengt Berger
Mastering by Claes Persson, CRP Recordings
Graphics by Jon Edergren, Spektra
Release date June 8, 2018
In November 1967 Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar came to Bombay to give a concert. It was natural for him to come and stay at his cousin Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar’s place in Chembur. As was quite common in those days one would take the long train ride from Calcutta to Bombay a few days before the concert and then stay a few days afterwards before doing the long train ride back home again.
Ustad was out of town those days so Fahimuddin moved into his bedroom. He was singing all the time, either for himself or teaching some of Ustad’s students who were moving in and out of the big practise room as were their habit. Students and musicians included sitar and surbahar maestro Chandrashekar Naringrekar, his sister sitarist Pramela (Ustad’s wife to be), violinist K. Shivakumar, sarodyas K. Sridhar and Subash Naringrekar and tablawala Sudhir Naringrekar to mention just a few. Husain Sayeeduddin Dagar was also there at this time and on a later occasion Fahimuddin’s visited with his father Rahimuddin. As did senior and junior Dagar Brothers.
Ustad’s younger brother Fariduddin Dagar was also there on a visit from his home in Udaipur, this was before he moved to Bombay. As Fahimuddin was slightly older he was the authority, the traditional chain of command was in full force in those days and one morning he sent for Fariduddin and said ”let’s sing”. Fahimuddin was sitting on Ustad’s bed and Farid sat down on the floor. I realised that this might become something out of the ordinary as I don’t think they had ever sung together before, so I ran for my Nagra, put in one of my longest tapes, lasting one and a half hour, and switched it on just as they started.
One could sense some tension and when I looked at Faridbhai I could see something in his eyes that said ”I will show you who can sing in this room!” Fahimuddin is all friendly and appreciative, with a fatherly touch even, but Fariduddin is very tense in the beginning, gradually getting more positive though that heat is felt throughout the recording.
Now, the Komal Rishab Asavari that they started to sing is a very mild and gentle raga, not well suited for a competitive approach and that makes the whole experience even more interesting. The singing is absolutely marvellous and we are treated with an alap-jor-jhala that lasts for 75 minutes with both Ustads giving their very best. As they end Fahimuddin just slides into Todi and goes on, mostly on his own, for another twenty minutes until the tape runs out.
After the first minute, once I had settled down with the mike, the sound quality is quite excellent. I doubt that there exists any Dhrupad recording like this deep and unique meeting between two masters from different branches of the Dagar family tree.
- Komal Ri Asavari - Alap (39:07)
- Komal Ri Asavari - Jor Jhala (35:08)
- Todi (20:25)