Anurag Kashyap on Mohd Rafi and RD Burman’s Jazz Connection

Anurag Kashyap talks about Mohd Rafi and RD Burman’s love for jazz music #InternationalJazzDay

2 min read
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Bollywood’s iconic music talents Mohammad Rafi and Rahul Dev Burman had a deep connection with jazz music, says filmmaker Anurag Kashyap speaking at the trailer launch of his new film Bombay Velvet, which is set in Bombay’s Jazz Age of the 1960s.

Mohd Rafi was a huge jazz singer. He sang jazz in Konkani language. A lot of music of the 60s-70s wouldn’t have been the way it is if it was not for the arrangement that musicians with Jazz background gave to Hindi cinema.  RD Burman’s music was influenced by jazz.
– Anurag Kashyap

In an interview given to Filmfare in 1984 RD Burman said, “Somewhere along the way I developed a taste for jazz. I used to accompany friends to their sessions. The musicians just take a sign line and improvise. This brings out your creativity. If a music director doesn’t know jazz, he knows nothing. That’s how I feel. Spontaneous improvisation is the hallmark of a good musician.”

In the same interview given to V S Gopalakrishnan and Meera Pandya, RD adds, “A good composer should be well versed in classical music. This is an absolute must. Some knowledge of jazz and orchestration also helps. He must also have the instinct of picking up cues – say from a car horn or the ringing of a bell.”

Anurag Kashyap talks about Mohd Rafi and RD Burman’s love for jazz music #InternationalJazzDay
Anushka Sharma as a jazz singer from the 60s in Bombay Velvet (Photo: Bombay Velvet/FoxStarMovies) 

Coming back to Bombay Velvet, Anurag also reminisced about the bygone era of the 60s when there were live jazz clubs like La Bella, Astoria boasting of talent from Goa who sang Konkani songs. “We have used those actual references in the film. Anushka’s character is inspired from Lorna Cordeiro who was a popular singer then. A lot has been inspired from her character in this film. She is alive and her shows in Goa are still houseful.”

Anurag Kashyap talks about Mohd Rafi and RD Burman’s love for jazz music #InternationalJazzDay
A cover photo of Lorna Cordeiro’s Jazz album by EMI Music 

Listen in to this Konkani jazz song Lisboa Pauli By Lorna:

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Topics:  Bombay Velvet   Anurag Kashyap   Jazz 

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