If you were to pick out a handful of jazz songs, it's not going to be pretty easy to pull of in Indian light music. But as always, we can turn to A.R.Rahman for some relief, for having made strides to several milestones. Part of this includes the occasional jazz number, something, which is more unique and special in his albums that you might think. A few listens is sure to give you goose bumps and raise your expectations for jazz music. Let's take a look!
Adiye - Kadal
Sid Sriram, Maria Roe Vincent
Who would have expected a retro-ish jazz number from an album like Kadal? The good thing about Adiye is that it doesn't try to fit into the puzzle, and it's too busy being extravagant and out-of-the-box. Right from the beginning, with the piano leading the way and an energetic Sid Sriram reaching out for the skies, you got to admit you are drawn into this song. It takes you a style of music that's very western in it's roots yet managing to embrace the very lines that paint the nature of straightforward emphatic Tamil cinema. Drawing closely on a blues track, it's valid proof that Rahman's experiments have great stature!
Tu Bole Main Boloon - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na
A lot of jazz songs in Indian soundtracks go unnoticed because they try to fit more than just their shoes. But, Tu Bole offers pure jazz magic to fans of both retro music and modern-day romance. Running into such a track usually mean you are witnessing an unplugged concert on TV, but Rahman's packaging remains intact even on the actual album. For what it's worth, it's smooth, as the sax and piano dance around the lead gracefully, sometimes conveying more meaning than the words themselves. It's the perfect song to light up an interest in jazz and subtle romance.
Among the sea of hits produced by A.R.Rahman, Hello Mr.Ethirkatchi gets little appreciation in the modern day. But if you are trying to spot a few jazz numbers from the Tamil industry using a magnifying glass, especially from the 90s when people just started leaving behind retro music, this one's a must have on your list. Appearing in a movie that showcases the era of the music itself, it's a beautiful arrangement of instruments and percussion. Early in her career, Harini has gotten herself a unique song to showcase and if you look closely, it has a lot of special traits.
Behka - Ghajini
Upon first listen, Behka appears to be a normal exclamation of love. But as the song transcends into a great blend of jazz and western music. It appears at the junction of subtle poetry and minimalistic instrumentation, which flow along with Karthik's mesmerizing vocals. The song breathes life into your headphones and the charanams are adapted to fall in sync. On the contrary, Rahman's choice of instruments is different from the others in the list. The percussion is prominent and there's even a little bit room for techno-like special effects. Yet, the essence of the song lies with jazz and no wonder it's special.
Jillendru Oru Kadhal - Sillendru Oru Kadhal
Jillendru Oru Kadhal is the oddball from the list. Not only does it pass by unnoticed from the soundtrack, it's almost exclusion from the movie has made it an unsung hero. Set at a higher tempo, it has straightforward jazz lines, and typical piano usage tangled together with the foreign vocals of Tanvi Shah. It's almost naughty with its motif and the nature of the songs bodes well with the theme. If you haven't been catch it yet, or haven't paid enough attention to the details, you better turn up the volume and try again soon.
Although quite similar, Aaromale cannot be classified as a jazz song. It has it's grassroots deep down into classical music and will instead feature in our western classical post.