I’ve mentioned how much I love Carnatic
Music and how fortunate I’ve been to hear some of the great musicians
of the 20th century. Recently I’ve been listening to the beautiful
voice of Bombay Jayashri, a disciple of the legendary Lalgudi
Jayaraman. I heard her live performance in California years ago and
marveled at her intonations and her choice of some unusual ragas.
many years later, when I hear her songs I feel something more, a sense of
Bakthi, that lifts me to a higher plane. Singing with her eyes closed, I
get the impression she’s immersed in her music beyond this world,
especially when singing the Ragam Revathy.
I’ve heard her sing two of Sri
Purandara Dasa's kritis in this ragam and even though I don’t
understand Kannada, her diction is so superb and her Bhakti so strong that
I’m moved by the music. She also sings a lovely Tamil song by Smt.
Ambujam Krishna called Pozshudu miga aachude that brings Krishna and the
Gopis before your eyes. The composer did such an excellent job using simple
words in this beautiful ragam and Jayshree brings out all the charm of the
composition through her singing.
Here’s a performance of this song with
an introduction where she discusses what Carnatic music is to her (unfortunately
there are no subtitles). She makes the point that though some people see
Carnatic music as heavy and difficult, she has women come up to her and
tell her that their babies can’t go to sleep without Jayashri singing
in the background. The children are comforted by the songs’ connection
to the divine and unencumbered by judgments about what the music is supposed