The Brooklyn Qawwali Party: Mann Kunto Maula – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Meets Jazz

Posted on May 8, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, Pakistanis Abroad
10 Comments
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Adil Najam

The quality of this particular recording is not the best and for some readers it may star off as sounding too much like a shaadi band baaja routine. But stick with it and maybe it will grow on you too the way it did on me.

As you may have guessed by now, it is a jazz rendition of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Mann Kunto Maula by the Booklyn Qawalli Party (BQP), a group formed by “non-desi Brooklynites” that is really a tribute to the genius of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and reinterprets his master pieces in their own unique, jazz-infused style.

Here (below) is the first part of the rendition above (in both cases, I fine the second half of the video far more compelling than the first):

I had first written about the BQP back in 2006 – the band had started off as “Brian’s Qawalli Party” but turned into the “Brooklyn Qawalli Party.” The recording I had found then (which I think were nicer than what is now on Youtube) have since become unavailable so I have updated that post with newer YouTube recordings in addition to this one, which do have the benefit of also giving us a sense of the performance. Unfortunately, it seems they have not added new work (or I did not find it), but coming back to it after some years, I find this as fascinating and compelling as I did the first time.

Here is a bit more about them. Enjoy!

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10 responses to “The Brooklyn Qawwali Party: Mann Kunto Maula – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Meets Jazz”

  1. Neha Marshall says:

    Mann Kunto Maula has been performed by so many artists, but rendition by Abida Parveen and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan remains in a different league.

    Download Nusrat Sahib’s version below to admire the amazing genius of King Qawwal.

    https://www.thesufi.com/sufimusic/nusrat-fateh-ali -khan/mann-kunto-maula-ustad-nusrat-fateh-ali-khan -live-in-concert.html

  2. Waqar Ali says:

    Qawwali certainly seems the greatest musical export from South Asia. Although I don’t understand Indian raag, Qawwali has a amazing groove to it, and many of my friends at university enjoyed it too. Anybody recommend a good place to download Qawwali from Pakistan?

  3. listner says:

    sounds like Balkan Gypsy band.
    Aistaguca – Balkan Gypsy Wedding Band! – Iag Bari

    –this is a typical western music form which is dominated by Harmony and Rythm. qawali is mainly based upon two important pillars: rag and tal. Rag is the melodic form while tal is the rhythmic.
    Brooklyn qawali is a corruption of western and eastern musical forms and lack of devine notes, is like shouting and without classical music constraints.

  4. Zaheer says:

    Excellent. I am not a jazz fan but a big qawalli fan. What I loved about this was that it made me understand what Nusrat Fateh Ali’s qawalli sounded like to someone who is not following the words. For me the words are really important in qawalli but this made me realize how powerful the music component is.

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