MUSIC REVIEWS

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 29.12.06
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60 years of rajshri A Retrospect
SaReGaMa;
4-CD Collectors Exclusive Edition; Rs 900

In a similar pack of the commemorative tribute edition of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, this Collectors Exclusive Edition is a treat. And another prized pick because Rajshri films, established in 1947, have been reputed for, among other things, wholesome melodious music, especially in the earlier decades. So much like RK Films. So, this four-CD pack (with 15, 14, 13, 13 songs) is something to covet, and has that coffee-table type booklet, too, including some glossy stills.

CD1 kicks off with a lilting bang, Kabhi to milegi kahin to milegi and Ab kya misaal doon (both Aarti). The next two are Dosti’s Jaanewaalon zara and Chaahoonga main tujhe. You get the drift? We mean, how can you go wrong with the day when this is the kind of morning that tells it? There are other immortal melodies, and the ones from the same film clubbed together. Many of the superhits, which still stand the test of time (hear this, remixers and shakers!), haven’t been heard for a long time even on FM, so the smell of sweetness balloons up at the very reading of the list: Jab jab bahaar aayee (Taqdeer) or Jhilmil sitaaron ka (Jeevan Mrityu), Pyaas liye manwa hamaara (Mere Bhaiya) or the Saudagar sensation, Tera mera saath rahe (the remixers have already got to the other one, Sajna hai mujhe).

But to lap up CD2, you have the chartered accountant singer Jaspal Singh’s wonderful timbre in the title song of Geet Gata Chal or Chaupayan (Ramayan) which makes you wonder how such a talent was allowed to vanish just like that. That brings us to the other great, Yesudas, belting out Gori tera gaon and Aaj se pehle aaj se zyaada (both Chitchor) or Sunayana (title song); or then, Hemlata’s Akhiyon ke jharokhon se (title song).

A random take on CD3, the ‘weakest’ of the four CDs, shows up Chaand jaise mukhde pe (Sawan Ko Aane Do) and Goriya re (Naiyya) and then comes CD4 which includes Dil deewaana (Maine Pyar Kiya), Didi tera devar (HAHK), Mhare hidwa mein naache more (Hum Saath Saath Hain).

The only grumble is that the films could have been picked chronologically — that way, the collection would also have become a kind of historical sequence.

Anil Grover

Rrabi Thakurer Manasi
Sukanya Dutta
SprinkleArt; CD Rs 125

Touted as a collection of modern Bengali songs that hark back to the ‘heyday of Bangla gaan’, none of the 12 numbers of Rabi Thakurer Manasi remind one of a Salil Choudhury or a Utpala Sen or even a Manna Dey. The album is another collection of Bangla Adhunik with romantic lyrics set to reasonably good music. Sukanya Dutta has a well-modulated and trained voice and sings the fast paced numbers with the slow ones with equal ease. The last but one track, Sailo ami ki rekhe jai, has a folksy tune while the last one, ma Jashode, is a Krishna vandana.

Ei Kathati Mone Rekho
Sukanya Dutta
SprinkleArt; CD Rs 125

This album tries to experiment with Rabindrasangeet, but ever so fleetingly. The music remains true to Tagore’s original score except for the accompanying music that veers towards orchestra-tion. One fails to understand the improvisation that doesn’t add or make a change to the original score. Is it just for the sake of change? And why are only the last two numbers, namely, Ke jabi pare and Jadi tor dak shune keu na ashe marked as new versions when all the numbers have some minor modifications in the accompanying music? Sukanya Dutta’s rendition of the songs are commendable. (One can’t help but notice that Rabindrasangeet artistes are donning the salwar suit instead of the traditional sari on the inlay cover photograph. Is this Tagore contemporarised?)

Timir Bidari
Sukanya Dutta
SprinkleArt; CD Rs 125

A collection of some memorable Nazrulgeeti, Rajanikanta and Atulprasad songs. The title number is a Krishna vandana followed by Gunjamala gole kunje esho he Kala, Ore nil Jamunar jal, some of Nazrul’s best. They have been sung well in Sukanya Dutta’s well-modulated tenor. Three of Atulprasad’s and a couple of Rajanikanta’s numbers add value to the album’s collection of devotional songs. The last five are folk numbers much in the tradition of Baulgeeti. This album can be recommended for the first four Nazrul numbers alone. The rest add value.

Na Hoy
Sukanya Dutta
SprinkleArt; CD Rs 125

Na Hoy is an album that has songs written, put to music and sung by the artiste herself. The songs belong to the genre of ultra-modern or post-modern, as one would have it. A lot of guitar strains, drums and synthesiser gives the songs a rock-rap strain. The eight tracks that open “a new chapter” in Bengali music, are basically love songs. The lyrics are neither traditional nor Jibonmukhi. They are somewhere in between. Some of the tracks like Jani na are reminiscent of popular 60s Bengali film hits. Oi jhaubaner adale is a vague reminder of a Hazarika number.

Anasuya Basu