CHENNAI: When you think about putting together a music tribute to Lata Mangeshkar, there are a plethora of options. And with this long list comes an inherent disadvantage of leaving out many numbers. However, Shruti-Samvaad and the Geetanjali Sangeet Academy pulled off the challenge with a comprehensive tribute on Sunday at The Music Academy.
Covering four decades of the singer’s career, the show comprised rare numbers and classical hits, apart from duets, rendered by singer and musicologist Shruti Jauhari. Joining Shruti in the musical voyage were Anand Madhavan and Mahesh Damani.
The lingering Aye-Dil-e-Nadaan (Razia Sultan), a poetic Naam Gum Jayega (Kinaara) and a refreshing Aaj Kal Paon (Ghar), explored the versatile body of work of the singer, who sang for actresses across decades. With a memorable Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha (Anpadh) and Mera Saaya Saath Hoga (Mera Saaya), Ek Shaam Lata Ke Naam had a special place for Lata’s collaboration with composer Madan Mohan.
An impeccable orchestra drove the show with its consistency. This was especially noteworthy during the orchestra-driven Aye-Dil-e-Nadaan that was originally composed with a 100-piece orchestra.
Peppered with tidbits about the early life and struggles of the singer, who went on to rule the industry for more than six decades, the show had insights into the life of Lata — her admiration for K L Saigal, Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum, and the initial setbacks she faced. The host for the evening provided a well-researched trivia as he delved into the support the legendary Khemchand Prakash offered her by quitting work at the studio, when she was rejected by a producer there.
Touching upon a vast array of songs, the evening covered Lata’s work with some of the finest composers, including everyone from Salil Chowdhury and RD Burman to Khayyam and Kalyanji-Anandji. With a promise of following up with another Lata tribute, the show wound up with a bhajan Jai Ram Rama.