|Meher and Sher Ali in concert [source: oneworldsmusic]
I have posted before about the Festival of World Sacred Music yearly held in Fes [Fez], Morrocco [see 2011]. This time its a recording made in 2004, the year being most famous for Youssou N'Dour presenting his Egypt album there, but I have something else: the brothers Ali from Pakistan.
Meher and Sher Ali were born in the Pakistani border-town of Kasur in the early 1950s and received their earlier training in classical music from their father who was a court classical singer at the small Sikh principality of Patiala (India). Their father was the disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of the famous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Young Sher Ali was the student of Bakhshi Salamat Ali Qawwal, while Meher Ali was taught by Muhammad Ali Fareedi, an ordained Sufi qawwal of the shrine of the 13th century Sufi, Baba Farid. Meher Ali was thus trained in Sufi philosophy, poetry, texts and rituals.
All qawwals must have a deep knowledge of Sufi poetic texts. In practice, this often means sacrificing musical quality to retain purity of text. Meher and Sher are qawwals who have achieved the rare combination of both musical quality and authentic text rendition: Sher is known for his abffity to understand the importance of rhythm (lai-kari) and render classical modes in a strong voice, while Mehr's heart-rending high- pitched voice strikes the heart (zarb-ul-qalb) when the poetry contains words of entreaty or sorrow.
Already at a young age the Ali brothers were recorded for radio and televison in Pakistan, their first album was released in 1980. More than 40 albums followed and they made many international tours spreading their music, texts and everything related to it over all continents.
summarized from bio at oneworldsmusic.com
Listen to a track from their soundcloud page
rec.2004.Jun.01 at Festival of World Sacred Music in Fes / broadcasted 2010.Jan.12, [former] Dutch Radio 6 - Radio 6 Live
setlist: unknown [so one long uncut part of the concert]
Some Multi Media
- Meher and Sher Ali's soundcloud page
- 2004: Fes Sacred World Music Festival - review on Afropop WorldWide *
- 2004: Fes Sacred World Music Festival - review in The Observer *
- 2019: live performance of Aa Mory Angna Ya Khwaja Ustad - youtube
*included in download