photo Ira Landgarten

Raga Cassette 102:

Berkeley Little Theatre, July 26, 1968

Nikhil Banerjee and Mahapurush Misra live in Berkeley, 1968

Raga Manomanjari - alap; gats in tintal

Nikhil Banerjee sitar Mahapurush Misra tabla
1/ alap 18:22 - 2/ jor 14:46 - 3/ slow tintal 25:45
4/ fast tintal 5:24 - 5/ jhalla 7:52 - 6/ jawab sawal 5:35
Total Time: 77:44 - ADD - Mono - RAGA-202

Padmabhushan Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was one of the greatest sitarists of this century. His music earned deep respect among India's classical music aficionados, as well as gaining him a devoted international following. He was the disciple of the two greatest forces in 20th Century Indian classical instrumental music, Padmavibhushan Allauddin Khan and his son Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Though he recorded many LPs, few were of live concerts, in which his leisurely, majestic raga development was unsurpassed. Mr. Banerjee recorded more than two dozen albums, on the Indian EMI label, and for Sonodisc in France, Harmonia Mundi and Chhanda Dhara in Germany, Amigo in Sweden, and for Raga, Capitol, Connoisseur Society and Musical Traditions in the U.S. (Many of these recordings are available through the Ali Akbar College in San Rafael, CA.) Mr. Banerjee disliked being recorded, feeling that the process distracted and somewhat compromised the inner meditative quality of his music, and high fidelity live recordings are rare. To preserve his legacy and show the full scope of his musical vision, Raga Records is reproducing a series of unique live concert masters. This recording was made in Berkeley, before one of Mr. Banerjee's most appreciative American audiences, and broadcast by radio KPFA, during one of Mr. Banerjee's earliest visits to the U.S., sponsored by the American Society for Eastern Arts.

Manomanjari is a raga created by Mr. Banerjee, a mix of ragas Kalavati and Marwa. A studio recording made by Sonodisc in France included a brief 23 minute exposition of this raga (ESP 155530, 1976). It was his favorite LP. Raga Records has also released a 1972 Amsterdam performance of Manomanjari accompanied by Zamir Ahmed Khan (Raga-212).

Mahapurush Misra (photo) (1932-1987), a disciple of Pt. Anokhelal, was renowned for the clarity and sweetness of his tabla solos and accompaniment. He performed and recorded with many of India's foremost musicians.

Released by arrangement with Mrs. Roma Banerjee. Recorded at the Berkeley Little Theater, July 26, 1968. Special thanks to Charles Amirkhanian and David Mayers at KPFA, Bill Thomas and John Thompson at Pacifica Archives, and to Bob Bielecki, Paul Hsu, Shankar Satyanath, Subrata Chowdhury, Ron Nierenberg and Ray Spiegel. Produced by John Wilton and Ira Landgarten. Sound Recording P 1988 by Raga Records, P.O. Box 635, New York, NY 10014. Fax: 212-620-5980. Unauthorized copying, public performance and broadcasting prohibited. All rights of the producer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved. Photographs of Nikhil Banerjee in his Calcutta music room by Ira Landgarten. Photograph of Mahapurush Misra courtesy of Mary Khan.