Thursday, July 15, 2010

Manohari Singh--The Man With the Sax Appeal

"Roop Tera Mastana"
A coy Sharmila, a besotted Rajesh Khanna, and what was then a sultry, sensual scene. The song from Aradhna was a milestone in Bollywood music, no less helped by the saxophone that sets the jazzy undertone of the scene.
Manohari Singh, the man who played that tune and many more, is no more. He died on July 13, 2010, aged 79.
I was hoping to meet him some day to catch up on R.D. Burman to whom he had served as an assistant.
Manohari has played with other music directors including Laxmikanth Pyarelal.
Samanth Subramaniam has written a fine obituary to the man in Mint but it omits an interesting development.
Towards the later part of his career, Manohari teamed up with Basu Chakraborty, another assistant of Rahul Dev Burman, to compose music for a couple of movies (perhaps more). The biggest of them was "Sabse Bada Rupaiya". Here is my favourite, "Wada karo janam"....
But I would remember Basu Manohari for the score in Yasmeen, a flop that perhaps never got released. The song goes, "Aa humsafar, pyar ki sej par, kuch kahen kuch sunen, jaag ke raat bar."
The songs have a definite Pancham (RDB) touch.

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