By the standards of his life in the western public ear, Pakistani qawwali king Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan died in his prime in 1997, at a time when his fame had spread far and wide. His fame was fanned by the interest of pop figures, i.e., Peter Gabriel, Eddie Vedder, Michael Brooks, etc. But, in fact, he left a substantial legacy of recordings and a long-standing reputation in his homeland that made him anything but a fleeting presence. Numerous posthumous albums have been uncovered and released since his death; the quality is inevitably uneven: some archival resources are stronger than others. The recently uncovered tapes from his hometown of Lahore, Pakistan, are well worth hearing, as evidenced by the first release from that source, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Party, Dust to Gold (RealWorld CDRW86; 64:32).
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.