Monday, November 8, 2010

"Jhan Jhan Jhan Jhan Payal Baaje" and Kumar S.D. Burman!

Kumar Sachin Dev Burman (1906-1975) was born in Comilla (East Bengal) into the royal family of Tripura. His father Nabdweep Chandra Dev Burman was an accomplished sitar player as well as a dhrupad singer. He was also his first guru.

In his youth Dada Burman came to the musical capital of the East -- Calcutta. Here he further enhanced his musical education learning under maestros like Ustad Badal Khan. He was also a disciple and follower of the legendary K C Dey (Manna Dey's uncle). He started his career composing and singing for the radio. He made his mark as a light classical and folk singer before taking up composing for Bengali films.

In 1946 he moved to Bombay, taking up Ashok Kumar's offer to compose for Bombay Talkies. His first film was Shikari. He struggled for a brief period, and decided to quit and head back for Calcutta, but was persuaded to stay back. He finally struck gold with the perennial 'Upar gagan Vishal' (Mashaal) and 'Mera sundar sapna beet gaya' (Do Bhai). With Baazi and 'Tadbeer se bigdi hi tadbeer bana le' sung by Geeta Roy, Sachin Dev Burman had finally arrived.

He was married to Meera Devi who was a Bengali poet and singer. She wrote the lyrics for a large number of his Bengali songs and assisted him in his music making. Dada and Meera Burman had only one child, the legendary Rahul Dev Burman.

S D Burman's music was an eclectic mix of various musical forms. His primary and most favourite influence remained Bengali folk music. His early years were spent amidst the rolling hills and the lush mountain valleys of the North-East. The rich musical tradition of this region left an indelible mark on the young Sachin. Years later he wrote that his art drew heavy inspiration from the outdoors of Tripura, where he spent his childhood.
He always strove to capture the freshness of wild, untamed nature in his compositions. This trait is not only apparent in compositions like the dew fresh Kishore-Lata duet 'Gori Gori gaon ki gori re' from his tribute-to-the-North East film Yeh Gulsita Hamara but also implicitly in songs like 'Piya bina, piya bina' from Abhimaan and 'Megha chhaye aadhi raat' from Sharmilee which have a strong North Eastern influence in the melodic structure.

He had a special liking for Baul and Bhatiyali folk forms of Bengal. He himself was an accomplished Bhatiyali (the song of the boatman) singer and came into prominence in the Hindi music scene with his memorable rendition of a Bhatiyali adaptation -- 'Dheere se jaana bagiyan mein re bhanwra'. His rendition is said to have mesmerized Jaidev so much that he sought him out to become his assistant!
In addition to folk music, Rabindra Sangeet and light classical forms like the thumri formed his building blocks. Burmanda also had a very unique sense of rhythm. Melody and rhythm blended in perfect harmony to make his compositions extremely captivating.

The outstanding point of Sachin Dev Burman's music is that it was never overtly complex and never pretentious. His tunes were always simple, graceful, hummable yet heartfelt. He would always say that film music should appeal to the common man. Film to him was not a medium to show off classical knowledge. And he never did. However, when he did occasionally go the classical route he came up with breathtaking beauties like 'Poocho na kaise maine rain bitayi' or 'Jhan Jhan jhan jhan payal baaje'.



Mallikarjun Mansur sings the popular Nat Bihag chiz, "Jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje." His son Rajshekhar is giving vocal support. Mehmood Dholpuri on harmonium, Faiyaaz Khan on tabla.




The classical song sung by SD Burman. The song is in Nat bihag or nat behag and based off a bandish made famous by ustaad faiyyaz khan. He used the same song to base off his jhan jhan jhan jhan payal baaje in Lata's voice in Buzdil.



JhanJhan JhanJhan Payal Baje - Film Buzdil-1951
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar - Music by S D Burman - Lyrics: Shailendra

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