Highlights of 2003

  • Carnatica.net - Kuthiramalika Trivandrum Concert Review


    The final day saw one of the mega-stars of the younger generation, Bombay Jayashree Ramnath doing puja to the Gods with her distinct soft touch. She opened with the Nata Varnam in Adi tala (Sarasijanabha) followed by Narasimha mamava bhagavan in Arabhi. This was followed by an extremely competent and elaborate Kedaragowla alapana suffixed by Tavaka namami, which was a totally unexpected gift for us who had decided that the song would be Jalajanabha! Attukal Balasubramaniam of Deshakshi-fame seemed a bit out of sorts on this day. A very elaborate Gowrimanohari followed, with Sarasasama mridupada. After a brief Pahi jagatjanani in Hamsanandi the artiste plunged whole-heartedly into Bhairavi with Janani mamava as the main piece. The percussionists of the day Ganapatiraman and Sekhar were in their element. The fact that Jayashree used not one but two Tamburas in this day and age was commendable. But the fact that the two young Tambura artistes looked completely bored and disinterested was a little sad, as was the fact that the Tamburas never seemed to be as perfectly tuned as their counterparts from the North at any point in the evening. The concert wound up rather abruptly with Saramaina in Behag and Chaliye Kunjan Me. And of course Bhujagasayino in Yadukulakambhoji, the Mangalam for the concert as well as the whole series.

  • Varanasi Mahanagar - Varanasi Feb 26 Concert Review
  • Adyar Times - Cancer Support
  • The Hindu - Shyama Album Review

    This week at Music World...

    Shyama Shastri Kritis by
    Bombay S. Jayashri
    Music Today, Rs. 195

    BOMBAY JAYASHRI is the new generation Carnatic vocalist who is not opposed to other forms of music, while being firmly grounded in a tradition. Probably growing up in Bombay exposed her to various other forms of music. In an interview, she talks of how she grew up listening to not just Carnatic music, but also to ghazals of Mehdi Hasan and Hindustani classical music.

    She has sung films songs ("Ninnai Charana" is perhaps one of her most memorable renditions under Ilaiyaraja for the film Bharathi), has brought out her own album of Subramanya Bharatiyar's compositions, Ethanai Kodi, but knows for sure that she belongs within the Carnatic tradition.
    In this album, Jayashri renders Shyama Shastri's compositions, the oldest of the trinities of Carnatic music. Shyama Shastri, a contemporary of Tyagaraja and Muthuswamy Dikshitar, was a close friend of Tyagaraja. He was a devotee of the Devi, and so, most of his compositions are based on the Goddess. He composed several kritis, varnas, and swarajatis. In fact, he is referred to as the architect of the swarajati form. The three that he wrote in Bhairavi, Yadukula Kambodi, and Todi are called the ratna trayas, and are unmatched. Prof. Sambamurthy, in his treatise on Shyama Shastri, says: "They stand unparalleled both for the delineation of raga bhava and the fecundity of musical ideas."
    In this album, Jayashri sings the Yadukula Kambodi swarajati "Kamakshi" set to mishra chapu tala. She presents the complicated composition with aplomb. One also gets to hear the rare Ananda Bhairavi composition, "Pahishree giriraja sute", set to rupaka tala. Her alapane is not elaborate, but crisp, packed with bright phrases.
    Her rendition of the Begade varna, "Dhayanidhe", has a good pace, and she renders it in two kalas.
    One can notice the rare originality of Shyama Shastri in employing the swara sahitya technique. Shyama Shastri composed several kritis with swara and sahitya having identical sounding syllables.
    The album also has "Devi Brova" in Chintamani, a raga that was Shyama Shastri's innovation. It is perhaps the only kriti in that raga. "Thalli ninnu" in Kalyani has sparkling neraval and swaraprastara. Shyama Shastri is said to have had a penchant for mishra chapu, and so, most compositions in this album are set to the same.
    It is a delight to listen to Jayashri, who sings with restraint and dignity.
    Classical Collection, Popular Traditional Kritis, Vol 1
    Magnasound, Rs. 40
    IT IS a very unusual tape. An entire new generation of singers sing popular kritis in this collection, some of which have been used in films. The rendition style is not in the kutcheri tradition, but goes the semi classical way as far as the orchestration is concerned. Even a base guitar is used, if you please!

    P. Unnikrishnan sings "Pibare Rama rasam" in Ahir Bhairav. The song has a lovely pace and the singing is understated, contemplative. The flute bits for this Tyagaraja composition are lovely. "Bhajare Gopalam" in Hindolam by Sowmya has some pronounced mridangam beats. It has a rich orchestration. G.N.B.'s composition, "Ranjani Niranjani", in Ranjani is a spirited rendition by Sangeeta Shivakumar. She negotiates the gamakas with tremendous ease.
    There are some lush violin passages as background score for this kriti. "Alaipayuthe", a Oothukkadu Venkatasubbaiyar composition, gets better treatment in the Tamil film (sung by Kalyani Menon, Harini, Neyveli Ramalakshmi) by the same name.
    It has an elaborate opening score that creates quite an impact. "Paluke" is pale. T.M. Krishna does a power packed rendition of the Atana kriti, "Anupama gunambudhi". His traditional singing befits the majestic nature of the composition.
    The album makes for interesting hearing for the kind of treatment traditional compositions get.

    © Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

  • Kalai Malar - Concert at RA Puram Temple on Sep 02
  • Puthinam - Tamil, Londonil Bombay Jayashriyin Carnataka Isai Kutcheri