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Najma


Country of origin:

India (sound), though Najma was born and raised in England

Type of music generally:

Ethnic Indian/world pop. (Neile)

Status:

Most recent album, Rishte (2009)

See also:

Najma's site

Wikipedia's entry for Najma

Comparisons:

Indian pop music

Covers/own material:

Own; sometimes writes with others

General comments:

Najma has a lovely voice which matches Indian music well. The overall sound is traditional Indian/Indian pop, but lovers of world pop music (and of course anyone who loves great voices) will enjoy her music too. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

Her set was a lot of fun. I'd never heard any of her music before, but found it immediately catchy. Since the set was largely Indian film music, songs that were supposedly standards on the order of "Summertime" and Gershwin tunes, it shouldn't be surprising that they were really catchy. It was fun watching all the people in the audience who could sing along to many of the songs.
     She didn't have the crystaline voice or experimental nature of Sheila Chandra, but performed what seemed like great Indian summertime bubblegum pop. (7/99, neal)

Recommended first album:

Qareeb. (Neile)

Recordings include:


Ghazals by Najma

Release info:

1988—Nivako, Nivako House, 16 Station Road, London, W7 3JE, U.K.—N LL CD 001

Availability:

U.K., and can be found in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended if you like other Najma recordings or are interested in Indian music. (Neile)

Group members:

Najma

Guest artists:

Ravi

Comments:

Music on this is composed by Ravi, Najma sings (and wrote) the ghazals (an eastern poetic form). Traditional-sounding instrumentation and singing. Lovely. (Neile)

Qareeb

Release info:

1989—Shanachie Records—SH 64009

Availability:

U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended if you're at all interested in ethnic music. (Neile)

Group members:

Najma Akhtar—vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Naushad Sheikh—tabla, cholak, madhal, percussion
Navazish Ali Khan—violin
Ray Carless—soprano & tenor saxophone
Kiran Pal Singh—santoor
Lazar Der Gregorian—fretless bass
Ian Terry—keyboards

Produced by:

Ian Scott, Bunt Stafford Clark

Comments:

This is a wonderful album: good music, and Najma's voice is in great form. If you like Indian music at all you will love this. (Neile)

Forbidden Kiss: The Music of S.D. Burman

Release info:

1996—Shanachie Records—64063

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of Indian pop music

Group members:

Najma Akhtar—vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Chris Rael—voice, guitars, sitar, lapsteel, dulcimer, mandolin, E-bow, keyboard, bass
Steve Gorn—flutes
Bob Muller—tabla, darbuka
Jonathan Feinberg—hand percussion, drums, keyboards, backing voice
Joe Quigley—bass
Mark Feldman—violins
Gregor Kitzis—violin, viola
Sarah Hewitt—cello
Aaron Heick—tenor sax, clarinet, oboe, flute
Steven Bernstein—trumpet
Dan Levine—trombone
Ed Pastorini—keyboard
Brian Woodbury—keyboard, backing voice

Produced by:

Chris Rael and Najma Akhtar

Comments:

S.D. Burman wrote songs for Indian films from the 1950s to the 1970s. These are American pop interpretations of the songs though they still sound very Indian. Great fun! (Neile)

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