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Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor, Raj Kapoor

An experiment between a biography and an autobiography, a special book, will be launched to mark the 93rd birth anniversary of late actor Raj Kapoor and singer Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor

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Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor, Raj Kapoor
Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor, Raj Kapoor. IANS
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December 14, 2017: (Editors note: To mark the 93rd birth anniversary of late actor Raj Kapoor, a special book — an experiment between a biography and an autobiography — will be launched by his children Randhir Kapoor, Ritu Nanda, Rishi Kapoor, Rima Jain and Rajiv Kapoor on Thursday evening. Presented here is an exclusive extract from “Raj Kapoor: The One And Only Showman” where noted singer Lata Mangeshkar writes on her association with the late actor)

It was sometime in 1948 I was recording a song at the Famous recording studio for music director Anil Biswas. At that time, Raj Kapoor had a very small office on the second floor in the same building. Anil Biswas contacted him and asked him to come down to the studio and listen to my voice. I sang and he listened. There was no reaction. He listened and left! Next day, Anil Biswas called and said that Raj Kapoor has called you at the Mahalaxmi office.

In Kohlapur, I had seen Prithviraj Kapoor’s film “Sikandar” fifteen times. I was a great fan of his. He was tall and so handsome. I thought it might be a good opportunity to meet my favourite star’s son, Raj Kapoor.I accepted the invite and went. Raj Kapoor was sitting on his desk in his office. I sat across the table. He said ‘I want you to sing for my film,’ and asked me what that would cost him. I responded by saying any amount that he gave me would be acceptable. He replied by offering me rupees 500 for the same. At this time, Ram Ganguly was the music director and both Shankar and Jaikishen were music arrangers. They all worked together at Prithvi Theatres.

Shankar was on the tabla and Jaikishen on the harmonium. They sang and taught me the song ‘Jiya bekarar hai’ for the film “Barsaat.”

It was after this recording that Raj Kapoor took the decision that the music director for the film would be Shakar-Jaikishen and not Ram Ganguly. This was the historic decision, with Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri handling the lyrics, that created the evergreen music of R.K. Films.

I also recall Raj-ji cautioning Jaikishen. He was concerned about my ability to sing commercial film songs, being a classical singer. Hearing this I was naturally very upset. I was new and had not worked in the film industry. I sang all the songs in Barsaat. It was very gratifying for me to hear of a request from Raj saab for a bhairavi alaap in a certain song in Barsaat. I sang it and he loved it and was very happy. The music of this film was very successful.

Later, for the following films, he would leave the details of the melody to me. But he always wanted an alaap which would touch the hearts of millions of people.

I recall a time when we were recording the famous song in Awara, ‘Ghar aaya mera pardesi’, with Manna Dey accompanying me. We reached the recording theatre. Shankar and Jaikishen made us learn the lyrics and the melody of the song, but Raj saab, who came later, rejected our entire day’s work. He said to Jaikishen, ‘I don’t want a popatiya song!’ He changed the whole song. He also added an alaap to the song! All this went on till 3 a.m. and only after it was done did he say, ‘Now let us eat!’ He had arranged food for the entire unit. I remember the entire team sat in the middle of the road and ate. There was almost no traffic those days, particularly at 3 a.m. A sheet was spread on the road where we all ate and left for home.

This was his way of working…

I was also bad tempered. I used to fight. I was recording with his son Randhir Kapoor for his film “Kal Aaj Aur Kal”. Raj-ji had come for the recording. There, he told me that he was soon starting his next film called “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” for which he wanted my brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar to score the music. I replied to him saying that I would ask my brother. I managed to persuade my brother who was not really interested in scoring scores for films…

I left for my US trip where I was shocked to hear from Mukesh, ‘Hridaynath ki picture gayi (Hridaynath has lost the film)!’ Hridaynath called and said that he had accepted the film because of me but the newspapers were writing otherwise. He was offended and embarrassed. I was very angry with Raj-ji. On my return, I called him and said, ‘why did you do this?’ I had persuaded him because you had asked me to!’ (IANS)

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A Music Genre To Fit All Your Mood- Jazz

Music, as they say, cannot be contained within walls. It's definition too is broad and different for different people.

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Jazz
From dance music to a vehicle of happiness, different ways to look at jazz . Flickr

Jazz  a genre with the ability to embrace varied cultures — has evolved exponentially in the past century-and-a-half and is today a major form of musical expression. But what is it that exactly gives a “jazzy characteristic” to a musical note?

Some of its foremost practitioners, who assembled at this scenic beach town recently, have different ways of defining it. if it’s “dance music” for one, “broad in its scope” for another, and a “vehicle to make people happy” for yet another, the search for what the musical form means to its practitioners remains elusive — and yet it is so dear to them all.

At the “Koktebel Jazz Party”, organised here last month, jazzy instruments such as the saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and piano were played to the beats of different music styles to create different kinds of fusions as musicians from over 20 countries participated in the annual extravaganza.

Jazz
Goa International Jazz Live Festival 2016. Facebook

Jean-Paul Maunick, 61, a founding member of British acid jazz band “Incognito”, quipped that jazz originated from the blues.

“Blues is the music that people played to express their sadness, to tell stories about dire lives. Then it came along, which was more instrumental, more free, the music created for dancing.

“Jazz is like the first dance music for me. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps. There is choreography if you want it, but most jazz music is about free dancing. The music, dancing and conversation between musicians is like that,” he shared.

Jazz
Jools Holland performing at the second Gibraltar International Jazz Festival held at the Queen’s Cinema in October 2013. Wikimedia

For Maunick, jazz is not just “an intellectual thing” — while it may be true that jazz is a “thinking man’s thing”, it is also a way “to just express yourselves”.

But is jazz all about dancing? It certainly is not, or at least that is how Rajeev Raja, the founder of Indo-Jazz music band from Mumbai, “Rajeev Raja Combine”, perceives it.

“It is not necessarily about moving. I wish to go back to the era when we used to listen to an entire album and keep listening to it. The genre is very broad in its scope and execution. There certainly are elements like swing, but there is much more to it,” he told IANS.

At the festival, there were a group of American musicians who came together for the second time after performing first in Moscow. They performed under the label, New York All Stars.

Jazz
Jazz is like the first dance music. Free dancing, where you show free expression. You throw your body but nobody is doing the same two steps. Flickr

The drummer of New York All-Stars, Carl Allen, grew up playing all kinds of styles but settled at jazz.

Also Read: Kuala Lumpur To Host The Premiere of ‘Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical’

“That’s the kind of music that excites me. That’s the kind of music that makes me happy. I try to use it as a vehicle to make other people happy. Everything is cyclical. A lot of things we hear now, people call it new but it is not really new It has been done before. It’s just a process. It’s always a cyclical process where people are putting together R&B, soul and jazz. That happened in the 1960s, 70s too,” he told IANS.

Music, as they say, cannot be contained within walls. It’s definition too is broad and different for different people, or so it seemed at the three-day festival that aimed to celebrate all things jazzy. (IANS)