Friday, August 22, 2008

The Music of 1920s

On Vikram Bhatt's bhatakti aatma thriller 1920s, Adnan Sami does some nifty stunt casting in the soundtrack. He invites timeless (as in timeless aatma, get it?), classical maharathis to sing his pop confections. And he does something unusual - he barely tinkers with their vocals, leaving the blemishes (not that they could be called such) in. By doing this he gets some striking results.

Let's start with Pandit Jasraj's Vaada. Adnan's ability to traverse multiple genres of music results in a wonderful blend of instruments: sitar, violins, tablas and the piano. And Pandit Jasraj sings this entirely in his bass timbre. His voice results in a coarse melody - which Adnan fixes rather elegantly by throwing in sweet, short turns of a flute. Yet given Pandit's reputation, its hard to take your ears off the song.

Vaada has a distaff version, sung by Parveen Sultana. I haven't heard much of her (my misfortune I'll admit) but she sounds so relaxed on the song that its the vocal equivalent of doodling. Parveen combines power with melody in her voice, affording Adnan a more traditional diffused percussion. More interestingly Adnan pauses to add in a terrific Blues lick on a six string somewhere in the first third of the song.

Shobha Mudgal keeps her pitch high and hits straight note after note on Bichua, which begins with a male chorus alongside a guitar. Mudgal's vocal choices lend the composition a lot of energy and in the middle when she does wiggle her notes playfully, the song has notably registered its impact. Even with so much happening in the song, I appreciated Adnan's ability to do something interesting. As Bichua winds down, there is a Rockabilly riff on the guitar that's worth a listen.

There is more to discover on 1920s. Asha Bhonsle sings Aise Jalta Hai Jiya, which is a two paced song that alternates between a low slung sexy-ghoulish vibe and a more dramatic pace.

Kailash Kher softens his voice on the soulful, lifetime of love 1970s throwback Tujhe Main Pyar Karu. There are a couple of high notes on the synth in the rhythm that give the song its kinetics and plays well with Kailash's stretched notes.

1920s will probably go down as the CD in which Adnan reminded us all of his talent and helped us look beyond his pay the bills ventures of the past.

Also:

16 comments:

leera said...

Wow that is an eclectic bunch. Nice to hear more husky, strong female voices in a soundtrack.
Personal fave so far is Bichua, Shubha Mudgal is sadly not around enough in Bollywood, their loss and ours.

Anonymous said...

wow, Parveen Sultana? Is it the same person? We used to attend classical music concerts in B'lore in the 80s, and Parveen Sultana and Bhimsen Joshi were the usual Hindustani singers (This was the Ramanavami series of concerts, still an important time for concerts in B'lore) - haven't heard her in years, and had a vague impression that she had died!

Remember a very mellow voice - seems like she still has the voice.

Bitterlemons

Pitu said...

I thought Adnan did a gret job as composer for Lucky...

Pitu said...

I meant the movie starring Sallu-Sneha Ullal, not Lucky Ali.

Aspi said...

He sure did. And he got Asha Bhonsle to sing Lucky Lips - which I always sing loudly in my living room whenever Ashaji rides roughshod on someone in SRGMP for singing something dicey.

AspiPankha said...

Impressive review with a Style waiting to be discovered by Bollywood ( Our Own Aspi - Second Career awaits you in Mumbai )

Adnan has always been impressive , I heard his classical song Chamki Kiran with Hamid Ali and is out of this world. Can provide Links if some one is interested

dockaul said...

@ Aspipankha -
Please do provide the link. Thanks.

Pankha Aspi said...

Dockaul
Here is Video Link ( See it first )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoQjI9kTgd0

Audio Link
http://www.esnips.com/doc/fade352e-6368-439d-b418-6391e7ae0515/Hameed-Ali-Khan--Adnan-Sami---Chamki-Kiran-Khile-Phulwa

Thanks for ur interest Doc !

dockaul said...

Thanks for a great song. Immediately reminded of my all time fave Albela Sajan from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

Anonymous said...

Dockaul Ji:
I also felt the same while wtching the Video.
This HameedAli Khan is from Gwalior Gharana as opposed to another Hamid Khan ( Younger ) from Patiala Gharana.

Randomer-Than-You'll-Ever-Be said...

Arre re arre ye kya hua maine na ye jaana
Arre re arre ban jaaye na kahin koi afsaana

Arre re arre kuchh ho gaya koi na pehchaana
Arre re arre banta hai to ban jaaye afsaana

Haath mera thaam lo saath jab tak ho
Baat kuchh hoti rahe baat jab tak ho
Saamne baithe rahe tum raat jab tak ho
Arre re arre ye kya hua maine na ye jaana

Naam kya hai kya kahein dil ke mausam ko
Aag jaise lag gayi aaj shabnam ko
Aise lagta hai kisine chhoo liya humko

Arre re arre ye kya hua maine na ye jaana
Arre re arre ban jaaye na kahin koi afsaana

Arre re arre kuchh ho gaya koi na pehchaana
Arre re arre banta hai to ban jaaye afsaana

Tum chale jaao zara hum sambhal jaayein
Dhadkanein dil ki sahi naam cahl jaayein
Waqt ke aage kahin na hum nikal jaayein
Arre re arre ye kya hua koi na pehchaana

Hum mein tum mein kuchh to hai kuchh nahin hai kya
Aur kuchh ho jaaye to kuchh yakeen hai kya
Dekh lo ye dil jahaan tha ye wahin hai kya

Arre re arre ye kya hua maine na ye jaana
Arre re arre ban jaaye na kahin koi afsaana

Aspi said...

This random kavita/song gives me an idea for a pending interview. So thank you!

Enjoyed the Adnan Sami link. Great song. But that video - who made that? It was funny watching Sami trundle along following his guru with a sitar on his back. It was like Karate Kid Part II only it was Aalaap Kid Part I.

Anonymous said...

Towel Kumar to act is a Sikh in the Next Film
"Rocket Singh - Salesman of the Year"

Even Sallu is a Sikh in the New Movie Heros.

Good Trend started by Vipul Shah & Company
http://bollywoodnet.blogspot.com/2008/08/ranbir-kapoor-will-be-playing-sardar-in.html

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding me of Parveen Sultana, Aspi. I always liked her voice. She was quite popular as a concert artist in the 80s, but went the Bhagyashree way by insisting her husband sing along with her at every concert, which didn't go down well with the organizers and audience. BTW, she sang a lovely version of Humein tumse pyar kitna in the Rajesh Khanna-Hema Malini starrer Kudrat, which I preferred to the Kishore Kumar version, even though I'm a KK fan.

dockaul said...

@ Aspi - Me thinks its from a Pak movie called Sargam circa 1995.Adnan & Zeba (his erstwhile wife)were the lead pair

Anonymous said...

The guy in this film is soo not suitable to be a hero.