Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Party Dust to Gold

The four tracks on Dust to Gold were recorded in June of 1997, just a few months before Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan passed away. They're taken from a set of archives recently found in Lahore, Pakistan, and compared to previous releases, the qawwali maestro's voice shows itself to be clearly degraded and strained. During the opening track, "Khawaja Tum Hi Ho," he occasionally loses his breath and struggles with the chorus. He sounds better during the rest of the recording, and although it’s still not Nusrat in his prime form, there's no doubt that despite his health, his devotion to the music has not waned. Same goes for the back-up vocalists whose support for their leader as well as the qawwali tradition is as booming as ever. The tracks are all recorded in traditional form without any Westernised remixing, and for the most part, they're also new songs that haven't been heard yet on disc for this part of the world. Not the best Nusrat album for new listeners, but crucial for those who've been following his career with scrutiny. (Real World)