He keeps them spellbound
The experience was enriching when Anup Jalota performed in inimitable style.
MEMORABLE EVENING: Anup Jalota and his enterprising orchestra Photo: R. Shivaji Rao.
It was not a surprise that Anup Jalota with more than 4,000 live shows to his credit, a magnetic stage presence and the ability to take the audience along kept the huge gathering at the Music Academy spellbound during his nearly three-hour `Musical Nite' of bhajan-geet-ghazal this past weekend.
Jalota's camaraderie was infectious... in his inimitable style he explained the lyrical nuances, brought in words of wisdom interspersed with tangy anecdotes that often left the hall roaring and even requested the listeners, much-too-often, to join him in the chorus of melody, making the experience rich and memorable.
It would have proved gratifying for the host, Rotary Club of Adyar, to witness a melodic jamboree of sorts, not just to see people turn out in large numbers to help them in their endeavour to set up free medical centres in the city, but also experience the gala fiesta.
The approach of Anup Jalota, who is swayed by his stay in Lucknow (an influence of octogenarian father Purushottamdas Jalota), is neither plain-bhajan nor straight-ghazal. Just as a seasoned classical musician, a bhajan is given soft touches on the raga contour, both vocal and on the harmonium, woven with swaras, and even set with breathless oscillations at key points. His ghazals are preceded by meaningful Urdu or Hindi couplets that give insights into the song.
Anup's packaging was also an interesting combo starting with the guitar that was part of his other accompaniments, harmonium, santoor and the tabla. If "Payoji Maine" was a prayer, the scales soon slipped into "Dama Dum Mast Kalandhar" for the "Sindhi Log," with most of the audience tapping their feet head and shoulders to the compelling rhythm. Soon, a remix followed.
It was an evening to remember be it the soft "Tum itna kyon muskura raheho" of Kaifi Azmi or Indivar's "Hoton Pe Choolo Tum," from the film ``Prem Geet,' or the fast beats of "Dum Dum Deega Deega," that had the audience participating whole heartedly. Rare inclusions such as "Jag me sundar hai do naam," had the bhajan describe victories of both Lord Rama and Lord Krishna or the rare lines of "Jaana tha Ganga paar" that was movingly explained as "a leveller" by Jalota, with lyrics that elucidated the Ramayana segment where Guhan takes Rama across the river.
The young accompanists, Amit Choubey on the tabla, Himanshu Tiwari on the guitar, Piyusu Pawar on the santoor and Jitesh Sundaram giving vocal support made the show stimulating!
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