With a smooth and facile voice Usha lakshmi presents 24 rare Javalis in this recording.
Composing of Javalis could be traced mostly to the post trinity period and it is a debatable issue whether Javalis were composed earlier. Patnam Subramania Iyer, Tirupanandal Pattabhiramaiah, Dharmapuri Subbarayar, Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar besides Swati Tirunal and a few others have excelled in this genre of Carnatic music compositions. Javalis are generally sung as lighter pieces towards the end of a kutcheri though there have been instances in recent times of a concert commencing with a Javali which this reviewer has listened to.
Ushalakshmi who is gifted with a smooth and facile voice has chosen to present 24 rare Javalis in this recording. A number of them have been authored by composers from Karnataka.
The first disc in this album, apart from Javalis in Kalyani, Anandabhairavi, Bilahari, Dhanyasi, Sankarabharanam, Kedaragowla, Mohanam, Khamas, Suratti, Behag and Nadanamakriya, also features a Javali in ragamalika with a chittaswara appendage.
Striking raga sketches
T.K. Padmanabhan the violinist plays attractive raga sketches for some of the Javalis. Ushalakshmi’s brief Mohanam alapana showcases her Guru T.R. Subramaniam’s approach.
The second compact disc covers Javalis in Khambodi, Navarasakannada, Atana, Thodi, Begada, Kharaharapriya, Nattakurinji, Jonpuri, Yadhukulakhambhodi. Kapi and Chenjurutti besides another Javali in ragamalika.
Ushalakshmi’s rendering of the Javalis in Navarasakannada (‘Maatu Saaku’ -Ananda Dasa) and Nattakurinji (‘Mogudoora’ - Unknown composer) stand out in this album and are vocalised exceptionally well.
A surprise element is the Javali in Kharaharapriya attributed to Karur Sivaramayya, which has been composed in a mixture of English and Telugu.
The Javali begins with the words ‘O my lovely Lalana.’ Other English phrases which occur in this composition are ‘Come sit by my side,’ ‘I will convince you’ and ‘Don’t be angry.’
Percussion support has been provided by K.R. Ganesh (mridangam) and R. Sriram (Morsing).