Heritage, apparently, was the keyword and Ulhas Kashalkar with his undiluted treasure belonging to the Gwalior-Jaipur legacy dominated the 14th All Bengal Music Conference held at the palatial residence of the late Khelat Ghosh during January 28-30. He enthralled the audience with Jaijaiwanti, Sawani and Bahar replete with delightful behlaawa, masterly taans and heart-wrenching pukars.
Ashish Khan's highly emotive Bageshri and Chandranandan, accompanied by a rather rusty tabla of Shankha Chatterjee, displayed the rich heritage of Maihar on his electronic sarod which demanded finesse. The master obliged.
Veteran Laxmi Shankar, who performed in the city after a long gap, added to this heritage flavour by releasing two CDs containing the late V.G. Jog's violin accompaniment to Kumar Prasad Mukherji and the latter's jugalbandi with another Agra veteran Dinkar Kaikini.
Octogenarian Gopal Chatterjee sang Bangla tappa. Mohan Singh's claim that he learnt Rabindrasangeet from its creator should place him in this age group. But his much younger and robust exposition searched the roots of the famous derivatives. Enhanced by Abhijit Banerjee's pakhawaj and tabla, each was preceded by impressive Dhrupad alaap or the original thumri or tappa.