"Born at Gouripur (now in East Pakistan [Bangladesh] )in 1924 in a family with a great musical tradition, Vilayat Khan is sixth in an unbroken line of maestros going back to the Mughal period. His father, the late Ustad Inayat Khan, still remembered as one of the greatest sitarists of all time, initiated young Vilayat in the art of Sitar playting, though this guidance was lost to Vilayat at the early age of thirteen due to the death of his father. Dedication and discipline, however, carried him through and to such heights that at a relatively young age his virtuosity was recognized not only in India but abroad also. He has played to appreciative audiences in UK, Europe, USSR, East Africa and Afghanistan. Just as Sartre's rejection of the Nobel Prize created a storm in European intellectual circles, Vilayat Khan's polite but firm refusal of a Sangeet Natak Akademi award created a sensation among musical circles in India three years ago."
(From the cover notes)
"A creative genius like Vilayat was not content with mere presentation of his parent baaz. He remodelled the Sitar in many ways like removing the second gourd, changing the strings and tuning system. His technical contribution, exquisitely attuned to the various gradations of Raga delineation, elucidative in practical exposition, has become a reference point for the art of perfect Sitar playing...
For his magnificent solos, his immemorial duets, Ustad Vilayat Khan will live on in the hearts of millions for time immemorial, as the Shahenshah of Sitar. " (Obituary, ITC Sangeet Resarch Academy)
"Fans and media alike liked to play up Vilayat Khan's rivalry with and animosity towards Ravi Shankar. However, in calmer moments Vilayat would admit there was not much to it. His animosity for the politics and institutions of India's cultural life was another matter. In 1964 and 1968, respectively, he was awarded the Padma Shri andPadma Bhushan awards – India's fourth and third highest civilian honours for service to the nation – but refused to accept them, declaring the committee musically incompetent to judge him." (Wikipedia, Controversy)
Ustad Vilayat Khan -- The Supreme Genius of Ustad Vilayat Khan (1968 - HMV/EMI India, EASD-1332)
Sitar-Raga : Darbari Kanada
Side A: Alap & Jhala
Side B: Gat In Teentaal
Tabla: Shankar Ghosh