Ustad Liaqat Ali Khan is a superb sarangi player. He has been a  a staff artist at All India Radio Mumbai and has done quite a lot of work for Bollywood films.  He is a good friend whom I have known since the early '90s. He plays the robust Sikar sarangi style, made popular by the great Sultan Khan. This style is characterised by stopping the strings well-above the left-hand nails so that the skin surface and the raised string combine to give a particularly punchy vocal tone. This style relies more on hand and arm movement with minimised changing of fingers. It often aims to emulate the vocal nuances of the immortal Ustad Amir Khan.

Liaqat Ali Khan is a rough diamond. The solidity of his sound and the clarity of his technique are breathtaking. As an accompanist he is overbearing, but his solo style is compelling, and it is sad that such an accomplished musician has  little scope for sharing his talent with the world. This is the tragedy of sarangi in a nutshell.

Videos here include a visit to my house in Juhu, Bombay, a concert in London accompanied by the great tabla player Faiyaz Khan, and a visit to his house in a suburb of Mumbai during which he taught his son.

We begin with his visit to Juhu on 30 January, 1997. I followed him for some of the time on my sarangi. He started with rag Jhinjhoti:

 

 

This was followed by Alhaiya Bilaval:

 

And then rag Bihag:

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Finally his son played a bit and we talked about sarangi strings:

 

The next five videos are from a private concert in 1998 in Hanwell, near London, UK. Liaqat Khan was accompanied by the late labla wizard Ustad Faiyaz Khan. Thet started with rag Bihag:

 

Followed by rag Charaukaisi

 

Then some hanging around, a bit of alap in Kirwani, and some tea drinking:

 

Then Ustad Faiyaz Khan played a wonderful tabla solo in rupak followed by teental.

 

The programme concluded with a Pilu thumri:

 

NEW January 2016! The next five videos are from a sitting at the Ustad's house—way out in the depths of suburban Bombay, on 15 February 2004—captured now on digital video. He took a while to warm up, but still played with his astounding gusto. The first piece was rag Rageshri:

 

 

This was followed by Khambbavati, a difficult choice beacuse of one of its angs' similarity to Rageshri. Then he drifted into Pahadi, and some wonderful demonstration of paltas and chromatic tans).

 

Next, more warmed up and concentrated, he presented rag Sarasvati:

 

Then his son sang some light music while Liaqat led him and also followed on sarangi:

 

Finally some attention was given to rag Gavati: