MANILAL NAG. Raga Lalit Manilal Nag, sitar; Anand Gopal Bandopadhyay, tabla. RAGA RECORDS RAGA-213 [ADD]; 61:30

Manilal Nag, a colleague of the late Nikhil Banerjee, was represented on two World Music Library CDs made nearly ten years ago. This Raga release is a recent (1989) recording made in Calcutta. The great qualities of his playing heard on the earlier discs, his understated tone with its songlike approach, are more developed here. He is rather different than Banerjee in the opening slow section (Alap); Banerjee caresses each note while Nag moves more quickly yet yet with the intensity of one whose thoughts are rapid and far-reaching. His pacing is such that his complex thinking saturates the structure of the raga's tones and ornaments, while making it disarmingly simple through his implementation of the dhrrupad vocal technique: flourishes which imitate the rapid-fire shake in fast passages. His playing is of great delicacy and introspection. One hopes for more of him and Banerjee from Raga. Well-chosen releases such as these make us the beneficiaries of a golden age of a classical instrumental art, documented at its best in extended and live performances.

--Allan Evans

103 \\||// 213 \\||// 215 \\||// Reviews