Velvet-voiced veteran singer Hariharan remembers legendary music composer Jaidev on his birth anniversary on 3 August.
Says Hariharan, “Jaidevji was my friend philosopher and guide. I’ve spent many a memorable days watching him record songs with some of the greatest singers we have had. Jaidevji’s music composition was like a canvas painting .The flow of notes, its juxtaposition with the rhythm gave a visual movement to the songs .The most intricate of lyrics simply said in the most beautiful of musical phrases …that was Jaidev .He was like a sadhu,fakir his religion was music .”
Hariharan sang his first Hindi song for Jaidev. “It was the Ghazal Ajeeb saneha mujhpar ghuzar gaya yaaron/Maine apne saaye se kal raat darr gaya yaaron for Muzaffar Ali’s film Gaman.The Urdu lyrics by Shahryar were complex.Jaidevji made me learn Urdu for one full year. My Urdu coach’s name was Chand Bala. It was that year of coaching which made a professional Ghazal singer.”
Recalling his experience of singing Ajeeb saneha Hariharan says, “It was my first Hindi film song .Jaidevji gave me the first break .I had met him a few months before at the SUR SINGAR SAMSAD function.He was one of the judges and he had spotted me there .Muzaffar Ali was making Gaman .Jaidevji wanted to use all-new voices .He asked me to sung Ajeeb Sani ha .Luckily the producer Vilas Sawant and lyricst Shahriyar also liked my voice.”
Everything fell into place for Hariharan during that momentous recording. “With Gods grace the song was recorded in the first take .I still remember Jaidevji’s happiness when done.The music of Gaman was very special. It was an amazing album ! Great songs and all new singers .bagged two National awards ! Only Jaidev ji could do it !”
Hariharan remembers spending many unforgettable afternoons in Jaidev’s company. “I used to be his in-house singer ,picking up his compositions .I’ve been a firsthand witness to the rehearsals which Jaidevji used to have with the greatest singers .I was at the recordings listening, learning, imbibing .He gave me so much love and I did learn a lot from him about composition ,how we should approach lyrics with a view to tuning it in order to get the essence of its feel and meaning .Singing for him was always an examination for all his singers.I always had to release rigorously for Jaidevji’s recordings. He was a perfectionist.”