There Will Never Be Another You


A few hours ago, a New York morning was shadowed by a passing in Kolkata (Calcutta).  It marked the end of  the earth life of Pam Crain , India’ first and only jazz diva, who , in a remarkable career that began as a teenager, way back in the 1930’s (with Sonny Lobo’s band) went on to become the jazz voice of India…After finishing her gigs on earth, she now joins the Great Gig in the Sky..in the company of the finest.

Pam

Her story is one of passion, and dedication for the music she loved, as she said “its hard work ,  it didnt come easy” …but it took her to fame, but not always fortune…respect for her outstanding and extraordinary talent, and most of all adoration and love from thousands of Pam-struck mesmerized  fans. For so many , she was the voice of jazz,  often their first introduction to live jazz in an era where live jazz of her quality was a scarce and rare treasure. They went home, with a vision of Pam in her Diva gown wafting in their heads and hearts, and a musical phrase with her voice in their ears..and from then on jazz, for many, truly began. She was the voice of the legendary Blue Fox in Calcutta (now a McDonalds) , and later at the Oberoi in Bombay.  Inspired first by Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughn, she then, as she tells the story..”was in Bombay, and this guy who was from the American Embassy, he and his wife, insisted I go to their house, and said you must listen to this person, because you sing like her…and they put on this record and though the head phones ..i heard this voice, I was blown away , I cannot tell you how I felt ..I was in shock..”  it was the great Betty Carter..and as Mr.Louiz Banks says in our Documentary Finding Carlton – Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India..”she just wanted to sing like Betty Carter” And when she met Betty in Bombay , in the early ’80’s they bonded like a mother and daughter.. and Pam “went to Heaven, that time, when we met and hung out”. Unfortunately there are just a few recordings of Pam, but her voice is carried on in many hearts.. Here is a find from the very early 70’s’s with the Braz Gonsalves 7 Pam was gracious, charming and full of sparkle and wit. She made a tremendous effort to help document her part of the Story of Indian Jazz, for us  when we filmed in Calcutta in 2010. She was fragile and it was clearly difficult for her to participate.  But lights, camera and action,brought back the Diva, after all she was on stage, and she would perform, regardless of pain and other things that got in the way.  She was the consumate professional. Pam was full of stories.. we filmed about three hours with Pam.. stories of jazz in Calcutta, and her gigs elsewhere, of club owners, of musicians, of stories of jazz nights that only jazz people can truly believe,  of her life , her triumphs , and yes, even paths she took that did had unhappy endings. She was honest.

 My lasting memory of her is the compliment she paid after seeing our film .. “You really respected us musicians, thank you for telling all our stories”.. That was Pam, she understood what it took.

Her husband the gracious and gentle Donald Saigal and her talented musical daughter – Sonia Saigal are left with the memories. Our sincere condolences to them and her family of dear ones all over the world Rest in Peace  , Ms Crain.. There WIll Never Be Another You

There will be many other nights like this,  And I’ll be standing here with someone new.  There will be other songs to sing,  Another fall…another spring…  But there will never be another you. 

There will be other lips that I may kiss,  But they won’t thrill me,  Like yours used to do.  Yes, I may dream a million dreams,  But how can they come true,  If there will never, ever be another you?

(Listen to: There will never be another you- Harry Warren , Mack Gordon)

And here, from Finding Carlton is a tribute to Pam Crain.

SARAJEVO JAZZ FEST FINDS CARLTON !

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We are distinctly honored to receive a review on the SARAJEVO JAZZ FEST website !. ….although, perplexed and quite baffled by how the film made it for review to Sarajevo without leaving New York…Jazz Pirates ? !! Well, that may not be a bad thing…Click on the image for their review

Jazz on Film


Jazz found its way into film a long long time ago.. the “talkies” provided a unique form to meld sound of swing with its complimentary physical presence..and Hollywood and other epic-centers of film  found ways and means to fuse the music into their creations.  And the interplay of jazz and the screen took on some incredible forms and fusions.and an interesting variant from India, Bollywood, which we refer to in our film Finding Carlton – Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India.

And the humor that is often inherent in jazz performance was also recognized by the industry,often because an artist or producer was a jazz fan… and here are two timeless examples..

Jerry Lewis in The Errand Boy (1961) Continue reading

Festival Cut pre-view screening


On November 4th, we screened our Festival Cut  of Finding Carlton – Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India , at a private screening at the Producers Club.

Photo by Anita D’Costa

Michael Rogers (the voice of Herb Flemming in the film) introduced the film to our audience of approximately 60 people.  Our audience included some of funders and their guests, and people connected with the film in addition to other invited guests.

We were delighted to have with us Yolande Bavan, who knew many of the characters and events in the film. For those who havent heard her name before..do look it up here , and in the meanwhile watch and listen to her on this link !!

All in all , a terrific evening …

The best judge of the film is its audience, and here are some reactions from our audience: Continue reading

Eulogy for the Music ?


One of the most gratifying outcomes from our preview screenings and focus groups  for our documentary film – Finding Carlton – Uncovering the Story of Jazz in India is the post viewing discussion. Its fascinating to hear how people react to the story, align with characters, and connect with the larger issues that the film attempts to communicate. It makes it all worthwhile..

We are frequently  asked “Is Jazz Alive in India? Is there a future for Jazz in the big cities of Bombay and Calcutta or Bangalore?   Is there hope for young musicians ?”

We often choose to answer this with a rhetorical response that results in more discussion…and now we have chanced upon this message from a professional musician in Mumbai …Read and decide…. Continue reading

Film Review – On Jazz Lives


Jazz Lives  is written by Michael Steinman..who lives and breathes jazz, and with it all its arcana, detail and the intricacies and nuances of its history. If you want to talk Jazz, talk to Michael !

Here is the Jazz Lives review of the film …thanks !!

A WINDOW INTO ANOTHER WORLD: “FINDING CARLTON: UNCOVERING THE STORY OF JAZZ IN INDIA”

I’ve written a few lines about Susheel Kurien’s new documentary, but last week, the Beloved and I saw a rough cut of it at DCTV in downtown New York City.  I am delighted to be able to write that “FINDING CARLTON: UNCOVERING THE STORY OF JAZZ IN INDIA” is a deeply rewarding film.

Even people who are not terribly interested in jazz in the intricate ways some of us are will also find much to admire in the portraits captured in it.  And the jazz-fanciers in the audience sat up, enthralled, throughout it.

Continue reading

On JAZZ LIVES – Every Picture Tells a Story


Michael Steinman is the archivist and jazz writer behind JAZZ LIVES , recently nominated as one of the Best Jazz Blogs of 2009 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Michael has a lot to be proud of, including a “community of readers it has attracted from Long Island to Istanbul”. JAZZ LIVES consistently shows up in the Top 10 jazz blogs worldwide !

  We thank Michael and JAZZ LIVES for sharing our story, but we owe him and the readers of JAZZ LIVES an apology. To  read JAZZ LIVES just click on the link below http://jazzlives.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/finding-carlton-discovering-jazz-in-india/

It turns out that we were inaccurate in referencing the photo that we sent him (at left) as “Bombay Bands play tribute to Benny Goodman”.

We now learn (thanks to detail from sax playing archivist Nakul Mehta, in Bombay, and our overflowing digital archives) that it was a tribute to Glenn Miller ! …but there was also a tribute event to Benny Goodman…

And because every picture tells a story …here’s the story behind the photo and both those events Continue reading

Thank you – The Telegraph – Calcutta


The Telegraph’s Aarti Dua contacted us about the Film, intrigued by its journey. The Sept 4, 2011 issue of the Telegraph carries her piece on Finding Carlton..

Thank you Aarti and the Telegraph. We much appreciate your interest in the film and its journey!

And just a small correction – Although we did preview this film in Bombay, we did not screen it at the Taj Hotel, Bombay, as reported…

Black Soul of Calcutta and Mussoorie


Nathan Rabe , who blogs as “Ajnabi” -from Melbourne, Victoria..wrote to us:
” What a story. Thank you for sharing it. I have just found your blog and have a passionate interest in music India and Anglo Indians..I am not one but have many friends from Allahabad, Karnataka, Madras etc.
– Ajnabi

We introduced Nathan to our friend Dr. Brad Shope (search this blog for more info about Brad’s contribution to this project) and the rest is on his Washermans Dog blog

The Ajnabi’s blog carried this post …worth the read ..and scroll down to the end of his post for a listen!

http://washermansdog-ajnabi.blogspot.com/2011/08/black-soul-of-calcutta-and-mussoorie.html

Rolling Stone India..


We very much appreciate this article published in Rolling Stone India! What makes it special is that the writer is a dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable jazz fan..and indeed was once an aspiring clarinet player

Just a couple of minor corrections on our part..our Ad world days were a very long time ago..indeed we fled that world, with no regrets ..so the honcho status inaccurate clearly,is not deserved…and as for being a gigging NYC guitarist ..we love the notion…but sadly , again cannot claim that role… although we do get an occasional gig or two, they are usually low key and and our renumeration if any..is dinner and a tip jar !!

So with the corrections in place..read on..Thanks Rolling Stone and Sunil Sampat