Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and party lose themselves in this collection of ancient songs whose lyrics recall Sufi poetry and stories. Shahbaaz is intense, ecstatic and uplifting. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is one of the key artists on Real World Records and certainly one of the most influential. His voice is universally recognised as one of the greats in musical history and he was key in bringing the Qawwali music tradition—a form of Sufi devotional music popular in South Asia—to the Western world. In his lifetime, Khan collaborated with many Western musicians, including Peter Gabriel, Eddie Vedder and Michael Brook. His vocals appeared on soundtracks to films directed by Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Tim Robbins. The foremost reason for his popularity is inventiveness—an ability to bring together separate traditions. To the popular Qawwali (devotional Sufi) form he has blended elements of the highly classical vocal tradition known as Khal (Persian for imagination). In this way he has created a wholly original fusion. More importantly perhaps he also draws on a range of lyrical material. It is as though he is continually both forgetting and reliving the six centuries of his family’s musical experience in a quest to find new and ever more daring paths to the sublime, carrying both eastern and western audiences to that realm known to the Sufis as Isshq — the state where earthly passion and divine love are reconciled.