J.P. Ghosh & V.G. Jog ‘Jugalbandi’

Stimulated by: Giacinto Scelsi’s 1953 piano sonata Quattro Illustrazioni, depicting episodes from Vishnu’s life; by LaMonte Young’s Well Tuned Piano; and by The Supreme Mother’s yearly organ improvisations, I have been looking for Indian classical piano music for some time now. While I couldn’t find exactly what suited my search, I eventually came upon this wonderful harmonium/violin duo. The LP, whose title precisely means ‘twins’, consists of 3 well-known, classic ragas by two gurus of Hindustani music, Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh and Pandit Vishnu Govind Jog – a guru is a teacher, a Pandit (Pt.) is a music master. J.P. Ghosh (1912-1997) was from Kolkata, Calcutta’s downtown. His grandfather Dwarik Ghosh famously adapted the European harmonium to India’s musical requirements. J.P. Ghosh is better known as a tabla player and he played with Ravi Shankar. V. G. Jog (born 1921 or 1922) is said to have introduced violin in Hindustani music tradition, the North India classical music, as opposed to (Southern) Carnatic music. There’s a pleasant homophony on this disc between harmonium and violin – the harmonium being perfectly suited to Indian music, which is generally monophonic, while the violin must be mastered to play only one note at a time. V.J. Jog usually states the raga’s theme on violin first, after which the harmonium responds with additional ornamentation on the same mode, and so on. Rhythm is gradually added thanks to sped up passages and the tabla’s contribution. The raga’s facination lies in these endless and surprisingly varied variations on the initial mode. Namaste.

Pt. Jnan Prakash Ghosh: harmonium
Pt. Vishnu Govind Jog: violin
Sanjoy Mukherjee: tabla
Uncredited: tanpura

  1. Raga: Shyam Kalyan
    Gat: Jhamptaal and Tritaal (24:10)
  2. Raga: Jhinjhoti
    Gat: Sitarkhani (12:22)
  3. Raga: Misra Kalengra
    Dhun: Kaharwa (11:31)

Total time 48:00
LP released by EMI India, Calcutta, 1985


10 Responses to “J.P. Ghosh & V.G. Jog ‘Jugalbandi’”

  1. 1 Janas February 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Great album, Thanks.

  2. 2 continuo February 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Agree with you, Janas. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. 3 Oswald February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    A great transfer of a wonderful album. Amazing blog. Thank you.

  4. 4 continuo February 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Welcome aboard, Oswald.

  5. 5 rob February 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Great. I just saw a really nice trio with violin feat Arun Ramamurthy, Poolavur Sriji, and Ravi Balasubramanian in New York a couple weeks back. Violins are amazing for this type of music, especially live. I’ve never heard a harmonium like this though! It’s funny how the machine limits the speed at which you can go from note to note, or the it sort of stutters/suffocates/doesn’t have time to produce sound.

  6. 6 continuo February 23, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Sure, the harmonium is less agile than the violin. It seems the human factor in this recording.

  7. 7 Rob Mullender February 24, 2010 at 12:09 am

    thanks, mr c.

  8. 8 continuo February 24, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Hi, Rob. Hope you’re doing fine.

  9. 9 pureman35 July 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Great jugalbandi from great maestroes

  10. 10 continuo July 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Thank you.

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