A tabla legend, that often does not get the credit he deserves. As the khalifa of the Lucknow gharana, he was both an important pedagogue as well as an incredible performer. His sweet tone, incredible technique and execution of rella and rav make Ustad Afaq Hussain one of the outstanding masters of the tabla. Though there are only a few recordings of his tabla solos, they are full of rich repertoire and impeccable technique. Despite being a virtuoso his accompaniment to Ustad Amir Khan on classic recordings such as Marwa, Lalit, Hamsadhwani etc are a study in restraint and exemplify supportive tabla playing.

Recorded in the early 1950s, this is one of the finest renditions of Khayal in Raga: Desi followed by a Thumri in Raga: Mishra Bhairavi by late Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. In Raga Desi he has sung two beautiful bandishes (compositions) in vilambit (slow tempo) Ikwai taal (16 beats) and drut (fast tempo) Teen taal (16 beats) followed by a tarana in teen taal (16 beats). Thereafter, the Ustad went on to sing the famous thumri- “Baju banda khula khula jaa” in Raga: Mishra Bhairavi in Jat taal (8 beats), wherein he has sung raagmala changing the key notes, which added supreme aesthetic value to it.

One of the all time great vocalists of Hindustani classical music, Ustad Amir Khan is credited to be one of the pioneers of the modern Khayal gayaki (style of singing). His unique way of unfolding ragas, methodical development and intricate patterns generally refer to the gayaki of Kirana gharana, though he made significant changes in his gayaki at a later stage and named his style as Indore gharana. He is also regarded as one of the finest performers of Taranas (a genre of Hindustani classical music).

In this recording, he has masterfully rendered Raga: Marwa, a dusk time raga, with incredible sath-sangat (accompaniment) of Ustad Afaque Hussain on the Tabla.