Our Introduction to Anto

Ajoy Ray in Calcutta introduced me to Anto..Here is the email that he sent:

I just thought of someone still around in Cal who was around heavily in the ’50s, ’60s & ’70s.
Anto Menezes, the vibes player. He’d be able to enlighten us on this area. I used to see him in the ’60s at Mocambo’s on Sunday morning live jazz sessions.. Let me see if I can contact him.

In a live session in the mid – ’70s for our Jazz Club which simply blew our minds was a superb, superb version of “Straight No Chaser” arranged by Louis (who’s this recent ‘z’?) Banks, and played by Braz Gonzalves, Louis himself, Anto on vibes, Bosco Monserate (our own budding Freddie Hubbard) on trumpet, Carlton on guitar, Iggy D’Souza on 2nd tenor sax (a massively leaking one, as Dave Liebman later discovered), Peter Saldhana on bass & Johnny Edmonds (with his Afro) on drums. Wow! I haven’t forgotten, tell Louis.

Thanks Ajoy.

Sad news


Hi, and thanks for the update. Wonderful to know you got so much great material. Sadly, we lost Anto just a little while ago. He developed gangrene in one leg which had to be amputated, and I guess his heart couldn’t take it. He had a heart attack and passed away. I just got to hear of this, and was planning to write and tell you. Your footage of Anto is probably the last documentation of him.
Warm regards

This is really sad news. we met with Anto Menezes on July 26th. Anto’s brother is the swingin piano player , Mohsin, in Delhi. The Menezes family came from Colombo. Anto was a gentle and charming person who loved his music. He showed us his ancient vibraphone which was acquired from a British vibraphone player circa 1946. Anto played for us on this beat up instrument and showed us how he voiced chords with inverted roots etc ..and how he left space for the other instruments.. It was a shock to hear that he has passed on… Anto Menezes was 78 years old. There are many other musicians whose stories we need to capture, we are grateful that we could meet with Anto and document his story. Here are a few pics. ..the one with the piano , according to Anto, is to be credited to Tina Ambani, and is from a magazine article.

CLICK on this underlined link to see an article by Ian Zachariah

Somini has a question


Thanks for the update, and congratulations. How does one find georgie, the only upright bassist in calcutta?


Thanks m accordingto Carlton, and Clive Hughes..he is the only “fellow who can play bass” …they have his contacts… George Cheator (spelling) may be found occasionally lugging his beaten up vintage bass in a yellow Ambassador Taxi … Here is a picture of George

Feedback from the Update

I hope you dont mind my sharing this with those who may care. if for soem reason you would like your feedback removed, please let me know , and I will comply
i leave for la tomorrow through sun.
played funeral today for larry lucie-great guitarist 101 yrs.
look forward to hearing more from you

I’m very happy it’s turned out so well, so far, Susheel. You have scores of people waiting to see the finished product. And I look forward very much to meeting you, whenever that happens.

I am copying this message and therefore yours, below, to my friend Anil Ranadive of Berkeley Calif, than whom there is simply no more rabid jazz fan in the whole world, caste and creed and age and gender no bar.

Good luck and all the best – Stanley

Hi, all!

Great to hear from you and relive those fun days. It was a pleasure to be part of this project and, if wishes could drive it, the docufilm would not only be made but would make it to the Oscars! For now, here’s to the pilot. Cheers n stay in touch.



I realized that in this scenario a deserving family of four brothers ( Monserrates) are left out My fault I didnt tell you earlier
They are the Moserrate brothers Ronnie – piano,Joe – trumpet, Bosco and Blasco- trombones Ronnie lives in the far suburbs of Bombay ( Vasai?) I heard the others stay in Nasik but am not sure
Anibal Castro and Johnny Fernandes are Bombay based Anibal is in Juhu and Johnny in Bandra Naresh will have their and the Monserrate whereabouts
They are all class jazz musicians
I guess you couldnt you get to Braz

The film gets underway


I owe you all a big thanks for your support, encouragement and more importantly , active participation. We have moved along the road from where we began six months ago, with a concept of doing a documentary film that tells the story of jazz in India..to beginning to edit a pilot version that will showcase the final product..

With your help ,good will, and positive energy…To sum it up, over the course of a hectic two week period we captured on High Definition Video:

– Calcutta jazz history conversations with Ajoy Ray, Ian Zacharias, Morris Menezes and others
– conversations with Anto, Carlton Kitto, Clive Hughes, Sonia Saigal in Calcutta
– a wonderful concert with the guitar of Mr. Be Bop – Carlton Kitto , his quartet, and with the vocal talents of Anjum Katyal,and Smita Mishra

– Conversations and historical material with the 96 year old former bandleader at the Taj Mahal Hotel – Mickey Correa in Bombay
– a wonderful interview with Niranjan Jhaveri and the story of how Jazz India and Jazz Yatra came about- Thank you Shail
– Bombay jazz history raconteruring with Farokh Mehta
– studio sessions and conversations with Ranjit Barot who made music for us along with bassman Karl Peters and the guitar of Sanjay Divecha (Ranjit , I dont have email id’s for these great guys, so please pass this on)
– conversations with “second life ” jazz fans and musiciians including Dr Farhad Kapadia and Nakul Mehta and of course India’s legitimate jazz historian- Naresh Fernandes
– a fascinating conversation with “Jazzy Joe” Periera – the last of the sax men
– And most of all, the generous and gracious hospitality of the great Louiz Banks and his family who welcomed us to an evening of intimate performance featuring Louiz B, Gino (drums) , Sheldon (bass) , Adrian D’Souza (Drums) , Karl Peters, Sanjay Divecha, Joe and others – Thank you Louiz for the conversation with you and for the music. (once again, I dont have emails for all who shared the music, so please pass this on)

Thanks to Sunil Shanbag we have interview footage with jazz loving musicians who played in Bollywood including saxman Manohari Singh and drummer Leslie Godinho

Additionally , a huge thank you to all who helped and wanted to participate more actively..particularly Stanley Pinto, who we hope to return to and benefit from his perspective and musings on jazz in Bombay and a couple of whisky’s perhaps ?

Also a big thanks to Ashwin Panemangalore for his incredible knowledge and willingness to track down Bollywood tracks featuring jazz musicians..And of course a great big thanks to Jehangir Dalal in Virginia whose passion for this music is unbelievable… and all those who introduced, networked, supported etc Thank you

We were blessed to have the incredible contribution a very gifted director of photography and cinematographer Avijit Mukul Kishore and soundman par excellence Suresh Rajamani.

And last , but not least Minu Tharoor, who took time off from her busy life at NYU to help us, and the Angel Oindrilla Dutt whose incredible support for this project led to a concert event that reunited Carlton Kitto with Clive Hughes and Georgie, the only remaining upright bass player in Calcutta !

I apologize if I have left anyone out, but we are just beginning and have a lot of work ahead of us. The footage is wonderful , broadcast quality , and is evocative..with people speaking from their hearts and playing the music they love.

We have a lot to do, and the next steps include – creating a six to seven minute pilot, putting together a website, and communicating what we are doing so that we can return and converse and talk about jazz with the many others we need to. We are open to any and all thoughts regarding potential sponsors who can help get this through the next stage.We need to make this happen

many thanks