Sunday, May 29, 2011

Story of Louiz Banks : The Godfather of Indian Jazz Music

Metamorphosis is the dominant note of his life. Not just because Dambar Bahadur Budaprithi has evolved into Louis Banks and a classical musician into a jazz star, composer and lyricist. For, his is a life which has seen a young man overcoming the tragedy of his father's death to fend for his family; a talent almost extinguished scripting its own success; an artiste who, perhaps, has not been accorded the recognition that is his due striking a balance between commerce and creativity. But if this multi-faceted musician - a composer, pianist, keyboard player, has been a victim of circumstance, he is also a victor who has met the uneven odds of destiny with a song on his lips.

He is in fact hailed as the best jazz pianist and keyboard player of the country. A man who co-composed & arranged the iconic ' Mile Sur Mera Tumhara'- The national integration video which to this day instills a sense of pride and promote unity amongst Indians, Desh raag, Spread the light of freedom (which were eulogies of national integration - portraying unity in diversity) which were aired on the small screen in the late Eighties and occasionally telecast even now. One who is the king of jingles, who has performed with musicians of repute - national and internationally, who has constantly experimented in different genres and whose body of work is notable for its music. 

In his early days, the going was not easy for Banks he had to move out of Darjeeling for a better living to Kathmandu , but again in  Kathmandu, nobody was willing to give him a chance. He met with rejection and humiliation. After days of hunting for an opening, he was taken in by a local band. It wasn't the best of places, but his career in music got off to a start, nonetheless. 

After a point, Banks moved to Calcutta, where he played at a night club. Along with band singer Pam Craine and saxophonist Braz Gonsalves, he started a group of his own -- The Louis Banks Brotherhood. The group was noticed and they soon got the chance to compose music for the film An August Requiem.
The big break happened in 1974, when R D Burman heard Banks play piano in one of the nightclubs and wanted him to play in films. There was no looking back for Banks from then on.
The transition from jazz to jingles to movies and also nominations to the Grammys, Banks has seen it all. 

At an age where his contemporaries are contemplating retirement, Banks is still exploring new territories and looking for bigger horizons.He believes that the music is a legacy and should be passed on. He is working on a project close to his heart with son Gino, an accomplished drummer and member of the fusion band 'Nexus'.

Here is the video of the 'Spread the Light of Freedom' one of Louis banks compositions which will never fad away from our memories..

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Story Behind the Song: We are the World by Micheal Jackson and Lionel Richie

When we listen to the song 'We are the world' written by Micheal Jackson and Lionel Richie, most remember this song as a beautiful song which had around forty-something famous artists of that era and was made for some charitable purpose.When I dug dip into the story behind this song, I stumped upon some interesting facts and touching stories which I thought was worth sharing with you all.

During 1984–1985 Ethiopia suffered widespread famine affecting the inhabitants. At that time a major drain on Ethiopia's economy was the ongoing civil war. This crippled the country's economy further and contributed to the governments lack of ability to handle this crisis.Close to 8 million people became famine victims during the drought of 1984, and over 1 million died.

Meanwhile in Europe, Band Aid ,a British and Irish charity super-group, founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release.

Following Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" project in the UK, an idea for the creation of an American benefit single for African famine relief came from activist Harry Belafonte along with fundraiser Ken Kragen.Several musicians were contacted by the pair, before Jackson and Richie were assigned the task of writing the song. Following several months of working together, the duo completed the writing of "We Are the World" one night before the song's first recording session, in early 1985.The historic event brought together some of the most famous artists in the music industry at the time.

Awarded numerous honors—including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and a People's Choice Award—the song was promoted with a critically received music video, a home video, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters and shirts. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of "We Are the World" and raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.

Now, more recently following the devastation caused by a 7 magnitude(on Richter scale) earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, a remake of the song by another all-star cast of singers was recorded on February 2010. Entitled "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", it was released as a single on February 12, 2010, and proceeds from the record was utilised to aid the survivors in the impoverished country.

Songs like "We Are the World" have demonstrated that diverse musicians can productively work together, and further influence a movement within music fraternity to create songs that address humane concerns.

So whats your favorite song that addresses a social or a human concern ,do share it with us..for the moment enjoy this video.

source:youtube & wikipedia

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

cafe idly @ bangalore: oh, yeah, it is a wonderful world...

cafe idly @ bangalore: oh, yeah, it is a wonderful world...: "Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate during the 60s in the U.S. (and written specifically..."

oh, yeah, it is a wonderful world...

Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate during the 60s in the U.S. (and written specifically for Armstrong, who had broad crossover appeal), this song details the singer’s delight in the simple enjoyment of everyday life.

This song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future, with reference to babies being born into the world and having much to look forward to. The song was not initially a hit in the United States, where it sold fewer than 1,000 copies, but was a major success in the UK, reaching number one on the UK singles chart. It was also the biggest-selling single of 1968 in the UK. The song made Louis Armstrong the oldest male to top the charts, at sixty-six years and ten months old.

The song im talking about is "What a Wonderful World" written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968.

Renowned for his charismatic stage presence and voice almost as much as for his trumpet-playing, Armstrong's influence extends well beyond jazz music, and by the end of his career in the 1960s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.

The voice and perspective of this 66-year-old black man gives the song the depth to touch our souls. If someone like Armstrong can bring such believeablity to these words after growing up in an intolerant era then there truly must be value in acknowledging the beauty around us. Louis Armstrong grew up in poverty in a rough neighborhood in New Orleans. His father left his family when he was an infant and his mother abandoned him soon afterward. He also lived in a time when being black meant you were a second class citizen. Yet, all this makes the song more meaningful

This song's slow tempo seems to emphasize the idea that in order to recognize all the good that is around us, we have to slow down & notice it. As Satchmo(Louis Armstrong's nick name) sings each verse, the listener has time to visualize each line, and can stop and think, oh, yeah, it IS a wonderful world.

With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, this song has taken a irreplaceble place in the memories of old and young alike.

Really a song to brighten up any gloomy day .. this song never fails to make me smile.

source :wikipedia,youtube

Sunday, May 8, 2011

cafe idly @ bangalore: Songs for My Mother.......Happy Mother's Day

cafe idly @ bangalore: Songs for My Mother.......Happy Mother's Day: "It should be no surprise that Mothers are one of the most popular subjects for songwriters around the world. In fact many artists have de..."

Songs for My Mother.......Happy Mother's Day

It should be no surprise that Mothers are one of the most popular subjects for songwriters around the world.

In fact many artists have dedicated songs/albums in memory of their mothers .One such album is 'Songs for My Mother' released by Boyzone frontman and Irish singer/songwriter Ronan Keating.The album was recorded in memory of his late mother Marie Keating and also to celebrate Mother's Day. The songs that Ronan chose to record for the album are songs that he remembers his mother listening to throughout his childhood.

From folk songs to modern songs, here's a playlist about Moms, by artists from around the world.Some of the songs below are not just about the day itself for Mother’s, but about life experiences shared with Mothers in general which add to the long lasting memories we sometimes experience ourselves.

But my personal favorite is - ' That’s What Mama’s Do ' by Jason Matthews.Im sure you'll gonna like this song.Here is the video 


You can burn this on a CD and put it in a case with a photograph of the two of you together on the front, and you have a perfect homemade gift for Mother's day!

Do you know of any great songs for Mothers Day that are missing from this list?.. Share it with us.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

A vineyard in Bengaluru's backyard - Grover Vineyards

About 40 kilometers towards north of Bangalore, lies a region that has only recently come to the attention of the rest of the world. Today, it has risen triumphantly as a rich wine producing area which was once known as Tipu Sultan’s and later, the British summer retreat. Nandi Hills is a picturesque region dottedwith sloping green hillsides and miles of forestland, inhabited with incredibly beautiful wild life. In this paradisiacal landscape stand Grover vineyards.

The region offers travelers tranquil surroundings, a rich history, beautiful vistas and allows them to train their binoculars over the spectacular Asian Paradise Flycatchers, Bulbuls, Blue Capped Rock Thrush, Tawny Eagles, Puff-throated Babblers etc.

Spread over 410 acres and nestled on the foothills of the Nandi Hills are Grover vineyards, credited with starting the Premium Indian wine industry and slowly transforming India’s reputation as a maker of
exciting wines to a producer of world-class, award winning wines.

The vineyards are covered with lush grapes, strung from trellises, covering every available space on the soil in the valley. It flourishes with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

The climate of the Nandi Hills is unique. Temperatures vary from 23°-29° C in summers and 11°-21° C in winters. The vine growing season, the longest in India thanks to the natural protection of the
Nandi Hills against the monsoon, enables the grapes to reach perfect maturity. Moderate rain strike, sunny days and cool nights create a unique temperate microclimate.

In addition, the diverse well drained rich limestone soils of the region give to our wines their distinctive, terroir-driven earthiness with depth, richness and aromatic complexity.

To enhance the image of India as a world class wine haven no stones  are been left unturned. More fertile lands are being added to the 50,000 hectares already under cultivation. With a production of 10 million
litres annually from 30,000 hectares, Maharashtra leads among the States followed by Karnataka producing 1.8 million litres on 12,000 hectares. Nashik, Pune and Sangli (Maharashtra) and Bangalore, Chikkaballapur,
 Bagalkot Belgaum, Bijapur and the Nandi Hills Region (NHR), Karnataka are some of the foremost wine manufacturing and exporting destinations.