January/February 1997

Nikhil Banerjee: Rag Malgunji Nikhil Banerjee, sitar; Anindo Chatterjee, tabla. The death of Nikhil Banerjee in 1986, at age 55, left a terrible gap in Indian music. Besides Manilal Nag, there are few today who exemplify the sitar tradition in which the ancient dhrupad style and the frenetic khyal are so perfectly balanced. Raga Records has released many of Banerjee's concert performances, which find him at his best. This 79-minute raga comes from a Munich recital in 1980. "Malgunji' is similar to the sweetness of "Rageshri" and is a rare variant of the work. Banerjee and Chatterjee are in top form, and the sound is superb. Raga plans more releases of Banerjee and has a website (http://www.raga.com.) detailing past and future projects. A remarkable document. -- Allan Evans


Nikhil Banerjee