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Sultan Khan was a hereditary sarangiya – a sarangi player – and one of the preeminent Hindustani or Northern Indian classical soloists of our age. He played one of the most brutish-looking instruments humanity has ever devised. Yet the voices that he coaxed from this squat, bowed, stringed instrument were divine. The instrument's name derives from two words meaning "100 colours", but Sultan Khan proved that the sarangi hid many more than that. Many hold it to be the instrument able to capture the nuances and tonal range of the human voice the most faithfully. Many – Mickey Hart, the Grateful Dead drummer-turned-Smithsonian Folkwayswallah who recorded him included – hold sarangi to be the greatest melody instrument ever devised. And without question, Khan was one of sarangi's all-time virtuosi.
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Just when the world is no longer particularly bothered about a new Arctic Monkeys record, they've finally released one worth being bothered about – at least in parts.
As Apple re-releases its eclectic catalogue, Ray Connolly recalls chaos and creativity, and telling Paul about a naked John
Rare and largely previously unseen photographs of Bob Marley at the height of his career have been published in a new book which hits shops next week.
The décor is dire and the location nothing special. But everything else is making me feel so nice, says our critic
You could call it the alt-folk answer to the 80s supergroup Traveling Wilburys. Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, M Ward and the much-in-demand producer Mike Mogis have teamed up to form a new band called (with collective tongue in cheek) Monsters of Folk (left). The quartet's self-titled debut album arrives in late September. In advance of that, their first roar has arrived. Called 'Say Please', it largely dispenses with the folk and goes for more of a mid-tempo country rock feel. They're giving it away for free at www.monstersoffolk.com – all you have to do is say please, or more accurately, type "please". Granted, the Traveling Wilburys comparison is glib, but to compound it a little, consider this: for the group, Jim James is calling himself Yim Yames, for reasons unclear. It's a pseudonym he has also used for another recent project – 'Tribute To', a six-track EP of George Harrison covers, he of Traveling Wilburys among others. It gets a physical release on 4 August, but a digital version of it can be found at www.yimyames.com.
He watched Bob Dylan torment George Harrison – and reckons that Keith Richards has one of the sharpest minds in music. Don Was, producer of choice to rock's elite, talks to David Sinclair
Martin Scorsese has become the official hallmark of classic-rock-cred: first the Dylan documentary, then this Stones concert film, and next up, the George Harrison bio-doc. He's undoubtedly qualified for the job, but I'm not sure I want to hear him muttering "OK! First song!" over the opening of "Jumping Jack Flash": it imposes a too businesslike attitude over an event not exactly short of that commodity in the first place.
Although Neil Aspinall could lay claim to being the "fifth Beatle", few outsiders knew who he was and indeed Paul McCartney publicly referred to him as "Mr X". He was rarely interviewed about his pivotal role in the Beatles' career, but he did make an exception for The Beatles Anthology television series in the mid 1990s and for the recent reissue of the film Help! Aspinall was first the group's friend and road manager, and then, as his trustworthiness and discretion were appreciated, came to manage the whole Beatles' empire, although he never had an official job title.
The title “The Fifth Beatle” has been conferred on various individuals for over 40 years. Brian Epstein and George Martin had solid claims to it, Pete Best and Stuart Sutcliffe, one time band members, also had claims. But Neil Aspinall, whose name few music fans know and even fewer would have recognised in the street, had one of the strongest claims of all.