[weekly world music]

Topic: Music

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/Eddie Vedder: The Face of Love

Norik Manoukian: Dudouk Melody (I Will Not Be Sad In This World) (arr. David Robbins)

Welcome to a new feature, Weekly World Music, in which I hope to showcase a weekly selection of interesting music from around the world.

The first time I heard the great Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his party, as he called his band, was on WNYC’s New Sounds. The show featured Nusrat singing in a number of settings, from traditional acoustic music to techno-backed remixes, but I was especially struck by a long piece that included some beautiful singing by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and guitar accompaniment by Ry Cooder.

This extraordinary song, “The Face of Love,” came from the Dead Man Walking Score (not to be confused with the Dead Man Walking Soundtrack, which is also excellent). It remains my favorite Nusrat performance, and it also opened my ears to Eddie Vedder’s remarkable voice.

Another wonder from the album is Norik Manoukian, who wrings gorgeously mournful laments from the Armenian reed instrument known as the duduk or dudouk.

This richly spiritual this music has moved me for years, and it’s a pleasure to share it with you.