The Passion of Pakistan
Here's a thrilling bit of antique exotica, which winds up making a statement about the universality and timelessness of world music tradition. In the dark ages of the '50s, Olympic Records originally put out the album by Iqbal Jogi and Party, just now reissued by Rykodisc's new Traditions label under the title The Passion of Pakistan Tradition (Rykodisc 1045; 50:23). Led by Iqbal Jogi on the reed instrument known as the murli, the music, now digitally buffed-up, contains the kind of entrancing, rolling Sufi devotional music modern western listeners have grown accustomed to, thanks to the recent popularity of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Original liner notes go easy on the details, referring to the work as "snake-charmer music." Whatever marketeers want to call it, it's snaky, it's deep, and it's charming on a profound level, in the '50s or the '90s.