Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sami On Sunday

I was taken ill while in Brussels and ended up spending an extra day there as a result. Most of it was spent in bed, but yesterday lunchtime I was able to nip in to Musicanova to pick up a few CDs before getting the Eurostar home.

Among the future treats for you are some vintage Congolese sounds from Zaiko Langa Langa and Dr Nico and Orchestre L'African Fiesta, and a couple of CDs from Cameroon on the M.C. Pop Music label (including one by Jack Palance - but not that Jack Palance, judging by the photo).

Before we get to those, here is some home-grown talent for you. As regular readers will know there is a stall on Whitechapel Road that I visit occasionally that sells Indian and Bengali bootleg CDs for two pounds a go. The last time I was passing by I splashed out on the greatest hits of Adnan Sami, born in London of Pakistani origin and a big name in Indian film music.

Adnan is a larger than life character in every sense of the word. At the peak of his powers he weighed over 200 kilograms before losing half that weight in a year. That feat, combined with his mellow musical style with its echoes of the 1980s, makes him a sort of Bollywood Luther Vandross.

However judging by his Wikipedia entry it is also one of the least interesting things about his personal life, which features child abduction, alcoholism and suing the Canadian Government. And apparently he is keeping it up, with the mysterious postponement of his scheduled wedding to a German last weekend.

Musically I find a lot of the songs on the compilation rather bland, with no sign of the skills that apparently led him to being dubbed "the fastest man on keyboards in Asia". But some of them cross over into being the right sort of mellow, including the two I have chosen today, which make excellent Sunday morning music. I particularly like the duet with the great Asha Bhosle.

"Roothay Huay Ho Kyun" - Adnan Sami (from "Tera Chehra", 2002)

"Pyar Bina" - Adnan Sami & Asha Bhosle (from "Sargam", 1995)

Here is Adnan in a very moody video. No sniggering when he opens with what sounds like "biggie, biggie", please.

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