Ali Sethi – Not The Right Note!

The talented Ali Sethi disappointed me in his tribute song to Mehdi Hasan. He did much better in his rendition of Umran Langiyaan, which was a folk tune. Ali loses his points in a case of overreach. He has God’s gift for semi-classical songs at this young age, but, he needs to know one important point, which is that once you are singing at a certain sur, and when you make a sudden jump to a higher sur, you must anticipate it with a softening of your tone, according to the situation. This intra-note jump is the most sensitive place for any singer. Khan saheb had practiced hugely for this very early in his musical regimen. That’s why he could master such situations with the softening of his lower-to-upper-note jump sufficiently. In this beautiful ghazal by Faraz, Ranjish Hee Sahee, whenever Mehdi saheb would shift from the antara to asthai, he softened his upper note to make way for the melody not to get disturbed. Ali didn’t do that; he shifted to the higher not with an alarming increase in the volume that made it an irritant in the song. Not once did he soften it, which meant each time he came back to asthai, he hit it too high, too suddenly, which badly affected the melody. Ali needs understanding of the ups and downs of the songs, and practicing multiple times before recording.