Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Fisherman's Feast

Have you played this game? I have with the kids... and had quite an enjoyable time fishing. I also enjoy fish on the plate... I've enjoyed lunching and even dining at the Gomantak's and Malvani restaurants in and around town - Mahesh and Apurva (Fort), Sindhudurg (Dadar) and Gajalee - being among my favorites. 

Today being the Feast of St. Andrew - the patron saint of fisherman, I tried recounting the songs with fish in them. Almost immediately I was transported to the world of fish... right Under The Sea (from the Little Mermaid).

My son sang this song at singing contest a couple of years ago and did us proud. In fact, I'm incredibly proud of the performance both my sons put up at their School Annual Day celebrations last weekend. Both had solos to sing in their respective performances... something I will share with you in due course. 

For now though I've got 'fish on my mind' and got to go grab some lunch. Goodbye, I'm Gone Fishing (Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong).

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving


It's that time of year again. The time for give Thanks.

Today is Thanksgiving in the US. And here's wishing all my friends and followers in the US a Very Happy Thanksgiving. 

As I was reflecting on the theme of Thankgiving, a host of songs came to mind saying 'Thank You'. Thought I'd share some of them with you. Even for those of us not in the US, it possibly makes good sense to reflect on what we have to be thankful for.

The first thing on my list (and most probably yours too) is FAMILY. I've been blessed with a wonderful family and am ever grateful for my wife and kids, parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and beyond. Also the many friends as well who are like family. Speaking of family, there has been this one song that has been a signature tune in my family. I sang it as a kid as did most of my siblings... and we all taught our kids to sing it as well. I'd compiled this video in 2009 for Mothers' Day featuring a tribute from my musical son to my loving wife. I Thank The Lord - I don't  quite know the origin of the songs but would be really happy if someone would let me know.

Besides all the wonderful people around us who make our lives worth living, I am grateful to God for the wonderful talent of music that he's so abundantly showered on me and the members of my family. Thank You For the Music.

ABBA is apparently planning a 2017 reunion... we'll have to wait and see. That song is special to me since one of my sisters used to sing it really well... 

Earlier this week we celebrated the feast of St. Cecilia the patron saint of Musicians. Was invited to a Thanksgiving service at St. Peters' Church Bandra where some of Mumbai's very best talent was present to thank the Lord for music. Could not be there myself, but got a few pics posted on Facebook by Sunita Noronha (one of the people behind this annual gathering). Recognize anybody?

Family and music are there to be enjoyed, thanks to time. Yes, I need to thank the Lord for every new day He gives me... and all His wonderful creation. Have sung this song in church occasionally: We Thank Thee - Jim Reeves

Yes so much to be thankful for. Saw this anecdote in the Readers' Digest and it got a smile to me - thought I'll share it with you too.

Recent years have seen Christian Music rising in popularity with the likes of Don Moen and Paul Baloche making major contributions in Praise and Worship. I particularly like this track for Thanksgiving - (I Just Want To) Thank You Lord.

So as you get together at the table today... Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart.

If you liked the last few songs... and if you're in Mumbai or near about... you should block your schedule for this Sunday evening for the best Christian Rock show this side of the world: Rocklamation 2016

Which Thank You songs or hymns do you know or love? I'd love to know... Let's have you responses in the comments below. 

Thank You

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hymns For The Week

Saturday night that just went by... was a memorable one for Mumbai... thanks to the Global Citizen Concert in Mumbai that featured Coldplay (headlining Chris Martin). And they surely performed this song out there... Hymn For The Weekend.

More hymns coming up on this blog post... that's because today we celebrate the Feast of St. Cecilia - the Patron Saint of Musicians.
St. Cecilia
She has become a symbol of the Church’s conviction that good music is an integral part of the liturgy, of greater value to the Church than any other art. You probably have heard this quote by St. Augustine - "He who sings prays twice."

St. Augustine.
For all the musicians who play or sing in church or otherwise... it is a O Happy Day.

Indeed a happy day for choirs and musicians... especially those who follow the maxim to Let It Shine.

I am thankful to God the Almighty for the talent of music that he has showered on me... and to all the people who have helped me nurture this talent for the praise and glory of His Wonderful Marvellous Name - Somebody Bigger Than You And I.

Also grateful for the opportunity to share and nurture the talent in children and youth during my stint in Sharjah and the couple of opportunities that I got even after my return to Mumbai... I'd posted about these in my posts earlier. 

OLPS School Choir

OLPS Youth Choir @DYC Christmas Choir Fest

We're just around a month away from the season of Christmas, a time to take the music to spread the love and joy of the birth of Jesus. So let's share His love with one and all in the coming season. Right now, lets join with over 2000 singers from around the world in a virtual Hallelujah Chorus.

Hallelujah to all of you. Keep singing.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Hello Everybody

Hello Everybody....

November 21st is WORLD HELLO DAY.

How many times have you said the word HELLO today? 
At least as many times as you answered the phone. 

Last year at this time, HELLO by Adele was on top of the Hot 100 charts. In fact, it spend the first 3 weeks of 2016 at the top of the charts. With that kind of coverage, you definitely would have heard the song... I even shared it on the post Hello...Hello... last year on WORLD HELLO DAY... along with many other #HelloSongs.

Being a Monday to get the week started, thought it would be nice to get the week started with a smile... this video is sure to make that happen...

Did you enjoy that?

Enjoy #AMusicalTwistToLife regularly... just click the FOLLOW button on the right.

Enjoy the day ahead... HELLO...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DK not from NY

If you've been following this blog, you'd know by now that I am quite the Jazz enthusiast... which has resulted in possibly the most represented genre on this blog. 

I've been a bit infrequent on the blog over the past few weeks due to time constraints...  but when I saw one of my favorite Jazz Singers on the #MusicalBirthday list today, I couldn't resist the Temptation (included in JAZZ IT UP.... International Jazz Day)

Diana Krall, the Canadian singer (with beautiful contralto vocals) and pianist is among the leading jazz artistes of today. Recognized by Billboard magazine as the #2 Jazz artist for the decade 2000 - 2009, Diana has teamed up with hubby Elvis Costello and country superstar Willie Nelson on this version of Crazy.

Diana Krall has appeared in Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... - and performed with the legendary Tony Bennett with whom she's toured. Included a song by this lovely jazzy duet in my post celebrating Tony's 90th birthday - The Best Is Yet To Come. Right now - I've Got The World On A String.

Got very few words to describe her lovely music - she possibly can do it better than I could - in the words of Gershwin - S' Wonderful.

That's all the words I have today for you... but here are a couple of my favorite songs (that I love to sing myself as well) in the delightful voice of Diana Krall.

Just The Way You Are

Besame Moucho

Christmas is a little over a month away. In a few days time, we'll be saying Christmas Time Is Here.

Hope you enjoyed that music. Will be back with more soon.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Money Money

A sudden announcement by the Indian Prime Minister on Tuesday evening demonetizing high denomination currency notes... and all of India has the M word on their lips - MONEY.

Meja - All 'Bout The Money

While public debates and discussions continue on the validity and the impact of the announcement and whether or not it will result in the achieving the stated objectives, the banks are overworked, the general public is stranded, the poor vegetable or fruit vendor unable to sell his wares since the common man does not have enough small currency to buy the things they need or auto driver who does not make enough trips for the same reason. Money Makes the World Go Round.
Liza Minelli & Joel Grey- Money Makes The World Go Round (Cabaret)

Its three days now since the announcement, and all of us are digging any reserves looking for currency notes of 100 or below that we may have. Banks are hitting the records in terms of the serpentine queues to withdraw cash. 

Hey guys, don't you know we all Work Hard For the Money.
 Donna Summer - She Works Hard For The Money

On a lighter vein, some people have found treasures back in their homes - in multiple purses and wallets, under the mattress, in the folds of the sari and in every possible places. Came across some people who have made big finds of money stashed away for the rainy day. It's all Money Money Money.

ABBA - Money Money Money

I need to find one working ATM where I can get some cash to buy some basic necessities. So while I spend the next two to four hours waiting, maybe I'll spend some time dreaming of being rich someday.

 If I Were A Rich Man (Fiddler On The Roof)

If I Were A Rich Man, I could be the other hot topic of this week - even the President of the United States of America (like Donald Trump). While Trump gears up to take on the Oval Office, in what many call a surprise victory, we be seeing a lot more of him than in The Apprentice. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Yesterday was quite a day. From the early hours of the day through to late evening, two news items dominated all discussions - the US election results and the demonetization of high denomination currency notes in India. There's been a lot of speculation around what's been happening and a host of public and private debates analyzing the reasons and seeking to determine the impact.

While I personally do not have strong political leanings, I guess we just need to take things as they come and move on to the new day. And it is possibly no coincidence that a song first recorded on the 9th of November 1969 has the theme of tiding of difficult times. The song Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel.

The song becoming the signature tune of Simon & Garfunkel swept the Grammys in 1971 with four awards including the Song of the Year. For a song of this caliber that touches the soul deep within, there are a lot of versions including performances by Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin. Sharing with you a couple of other versions on the song that I've come across over time. A gospel-soul version with Josh Groban and Brian McKnight.   

Forty-seven years later this song is still doing wonders. Came across this interesting version by Kevin Spacey with Beverly Knight - with some impromptu lyrics and fillers.

I guess we'll just wait and see what the next few days have in store for us. So with hope in our hearts we trust there's a Bridge Over Troubled Waters close by.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Guitar Girls

Just yesterday I put up a post on Facebook with a #MusicalBirthday wish to Canadian singer guitarist Joni Mitchell.

Earlier today I posted a blogpost right here with Usha Uthup (whose birthday was also yesterday) playing the Guitar in a Sari

It seems to be a coincidence of sorts, because among the many #Musicalirthdays of today, there's another guitar wielding female rock singer, also possibly ranked the top female guitarist of all time - her name is Bonnie Raitt. Three women guitarists in two days is really Something to Talk About.

While looking for this music, I found Runaway - a song I've known but not with an attribution to her. Here is a live version from 1977. She's got a unique style of guitaring combining elements of blues, rock and R&B.

Her dad was Broadway star John Raitt, but Bonnie's artistic parents were blues giants like Howlin' Wolf and Mississippi Fred McDowell, whom she met and performed with early in her career. She plays a mean blues guitar and you can see more of it right here on Sweet Home Chicago, a collaboration in tribute to Buddy Guy. 

Among the multiple styles, she's also wandered into country. Another interesting collaboration I found out here is the most common song that we've played to start waltz sessions. Plugged it in here as a tribute to another great woman singer on her birth anniversary - Patti Page. I've included her version of a children's favorite - Doggie in the Window in an earlier post.

The tribute song here is the Tennessee Waltz performed with Norah Jones.

I trust you enjoyed that rendition as much as I did. Do remind me to do a special feature on the Top Women Guitarists. If you like the music here, do hit the Follow button and get an update whenever I add a new post. 

The Silky Singer (with a Sari)

The wedding season is just getting started. And calendars for emcees, DJs, caterers and other wedding services getting absolutely choc-a-blocked. 

Was performing at a Malayalee wedding on Sunday and as the guests posed for photographs with the bridal couple, the stage was absolutely ablaze with the colours of the silk saris that the lovely ladies wore. I managed to get a pic with the mother of the bride (a lecturer of mine from college) that's been getting hundreds of likes on my Facebook page - you'll have to go there to see it. 

If I were to ask you whether you've ever seen a singer on stage donning the traditional Indian sari, what would your answer be?

Over the last nearly 50 years, there has been this phenomenal sari-clad woman with a big 'bindi' whose husky alto voice and energy levels has got every single person in the crowd standing and rocking to her sensational tunes. Have you figured this out yet?

There's only one like that - the unimitable Usha Uthup

She celebrated her 69th birthday yesterday. And she's still on the roll.
The first time I remember hearing her sing was watching TV at my grandmom's place (Nana's house) while this song played - a mix of One Way Ticket and the Indian adaptation Hari Om Hari.

While we enjoyed watching her sing and dance, there were common links with here that came into conversation. She studied in the same school as most of my aunts (St. Agnes High School aka Clare Road Convent). Also one of her older sisters and my aunt were classmates, and performed together in school performances. In fact, Usha first appeared on the music scene singing as part of the Sami sisters. They performed together a few years ago - check out this montage.

Back in Bollywood, she did an Indian edition of Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger singing the title song of Shaan - Shaan Se.

Another facet of her talent is her versatility with languages. She has sung in as many as 13 Indian and 8 Foreign languages. Here's a dose of Tamil - Vegam Vegam Pogum Pogum.

For those still riding in the clouds, this song is right back to reality with things for lovers to enjoy. This song in Konkani has a very Portuguese style entry - Meu Amor (My Love).

A few years ago, Indians around the world experienced the 'Kolaveri' virus. It caught Usha Uthup as well who sings it here for India's women sports stars - Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom - Why this Kolaveri Di?

She's a real performer. Check out one of her most recent rages - Darling from Saat Khoon Maaf.

Usha tours around India but currently called Kolkata her home. A few months ago, she had the honour of singing a song dedicated to the most famous woman ever of Kolkata - Saint Mother Teresa. You can listen in to not one but two songs on my blog post - Mother Teresa - Model of Mercy.

For songs with a theme, I like this contemplative song from Mark Spoelstra - White Winged Dove.

Did you notice that I hardly posted with the exception of the Shaan theme, all the rest of the videos on this post are live performances. You would have gathered by now, that that's because of the fantastic performer that Usha Uthup is. I'm leaving you with an incredible performance including music, mimicry and more. 

Belated Happy Birthday wishes to  

Usha Uthup

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