A fitting tribute to all things jazz

A fitting tribute to all things jazz

The journey of jazz in the country could not have been documented better. ‘Finding Carlton’, a film screened at the Bangalore International Centre, was the closest one could get to seeing the jazz phenomenon of yesteryears, Carlton Kitto and others, at their best.

Playwright and actor Girish Karnad was spotted at the screening.

Directed by Susheel J Kurien, the film brought out the travails of jazz music in this country. It also documented how the genre spread like wildfire in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai and Lucknow among the soldiers of World War II and then, stayed even after the war ended.

“This film is a tribute to all musicians. It has a lot of archived material and some very interesting facts about the jazz scene in the country. I have dedicated the film to all those phenomenal artistes who popularised the concept in the country,” says Susheel.

The opening scene of the film shows Carlton Kitto in one of the bylanes of Ripon Street, Kolkata. The film shows how the ‘city of joy’ was a hub of this genre. Jazz musicians from various parts of the world, like Crickett Smith from the USA, migrated here because of the huge demand for their art.

The movie had a unique collection of music and pictures of some artistes, which have never before been seen or heard. Interviews given by jazz musicians, whom few would recognise, were incorporated into the film. It largely revolved around Kitto and his work. However, it also showcased some others whose works have never been recorded.

The research done by the film-maker was worth appreciating and though it had many facts and documents, the film was entertaining. Playwright and actor Girish Karnad was one of the people who had come to watch the film.

The audience, which mainly comprised music lovers, could be seen glued to the screen.
“It is an excellent movie and very well researched. Some of the pictures that had been shown in the film had been lost — until now. Susheel and his team have done a brilliant job. The movie is not only entertaining, it is also an asset for those who love jazz,” says Kartikeyan, a young professional who had come for the screening.
The movie also showed the influence of jazz in the Hindi film industry.

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