Swapan's Picks: 5 Splendid Musicians That Add Harmony To My Life

11/07/2015 8:36 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Great tune spinning on my victrola. It's a popular song from the 1930's. Here is an animated film that includes the song, though a different version. Kitty from Kansas City was the 47th part of the Screen Songs series. It includes an early (although very identical) version of Betty Boop. The title card music is a lyrical variation of the song "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile". Kitty (Betty) was walking to a Kansas City train station, and she waited for her train to “Rudy Valley”, a place where her friend (Rudy) lives. As she waited, the train’s mail compartment sign snatches her. A mouse writes “Fe” behind mail, as a parody of the word “female”. She reaches “Rudy Valley”, where the cartoon changes to a live-action performance of Vallée and his “Connecticut Yankees” singing and playing the song. Then, the scene goes back to the cartoon, where Kitty does some of the antics in the lyrics, the film ending with Kitty unpluggin a water stopping cork in a pond, with a parade of marine creature following Kitty. The live-action performance (and the second cartoon sequence) have the pre-recorded soundtrack off, by about a second and a half. courtesy of Wikipedia.

I started listening to music seriously just about fifteen years ago.

I listen to all kinds of music. Even in languages I just do not understand.

Old fashioned as I am, I buy CDs. I do not own an IPod or even have a single song on my IPhone.

Here are five musicians that strum my life.

Juliette Pochin

I could do a doctorate in Ave Maria. It is the ultimate musical soul cleanser for me. It has both depth and width. And no one sings it better than Juliette Pochin. She has a majestic voice and great grace. Check out an old album of hers called Venezia.

James Rhodes

I am a Chopin freak. In particular, Etude 25/12. And no one plays it with as much flair as James Rhodes. He is the Gordon Ramsay of the piano. James wears tees while playing the piano. And he is badly behaved. Which is just what the purist piano deserved. Check out his album 'Razor Blades, Little Pills and Big Pianos.' And while you are at it, read his book, Instrumental. Brilliant.

Laura Pausini

An Italian pop singer, Pausini has both range and repertoire. Listen to 'E Ritorno Da Te' and 'La Solitudine'. Pair it with a glass of Chateau La Garde Pessac Leognan 2009. Majestic.

Joi Barua

I stumbled upon Joi. Heard his music and wept. I then called him and asked him to come home and sing for the four of us. He did. It was the best evening of our lives. I am so much in love with everything about North East India. Joi's music started it all. Listen to 'Tumi' and 'Teje, Teje'.

Stuart D'rozario

Stu was India's finest copywriters. He and I worked in Hong Kong as well. Subsequently he went on to start his spiffy advertising agency in the US. But he never gave up on his love for music and finally made a meal out of his talent. His music and lyrics are simply splendid. And in many circles he is compared with Dylan. My favourite songs from Stuart are 'Bring The House Down' and 'Eyes Still Sad'. Both staggering.

The weekend's here. Give these folks are listen.

More On This Topic