Globalwize Radioshow #410

14/09/2022Weltbeat Selector/Host Jean Trouillet Airs A Special Hommage To The Late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Today, we return with another episode of Globalwize, the regular far-reaching format of Weltbeat host and selector Jean Trouillet, originally aired on Frankfurt's Radio X and now streaming via Greedio. For show #410, Trouillet prepared a special two-hour tribute show in memory of the great Pakistani Punjabi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who passed away 25 years ago from a heart attack at the age of only 49. Narrated by two professional speakers, Trouillet interviews companions of the world-renowned musical icon such as Heiner Goebbels and Peter Pannke, while playing music from the singer's extensive catalogue of 125 albums.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a unifier, whose message was always one of peace and love. He is rightfully considered one of the greatest singers of our time, who helped Qawwali music receive international exposure, Qawwali being "an energetic musical performance of Sufi Muslim poetry that aims to lead listeners to a state of religious ecstasy – to a spiritual union with Allah" (Britannica).

An obituary published in the New York Times in 1997 reads: "The music seeks to transport listeners, and it works its way to ecstatic peaks with driving rhythms, concise refrains and the spiralling improvisations at which Mr. Khan was unsurpassed. His voice had a raw, impassioned tone and an acrobatic agility. Whether he was repeating a refrain with ever-increasing intensity, streaking through elaborate zigzagging lines, letting loose a percussive fusillade or sustaining a climactic note, he made music that united virtuosity and fervor."

Towards the end of this homage to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Jean Trouillet, who knew the singer personally, organised several concerts of his and at one time was lucky enough to be the beneficiary of an intimate unplugged performance, shares 20 minutes of music recorded in memory of the man, whose voice carries on and continues to touch so many.

Click below or head to our Greedio Mixcloud channel to listen to the full show (which is in German) and click here if you would like to read an essay (also in German) on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and the Qawwali tradition, researched by Rashid Ahmed Din and published by Jean in 1989 in his book "Weltbeat".

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom