Ujjayaniyile Gayika... HMV, Rs. 84.00This is a perfect tribute to one of India's largely unsung singers. P. Leela's career was virtually the history and growth of playback singing in Malayalam. Starting off way back in 1948, when playback singing was being introduced, Leela went on to blaze a trail that spanned over five decades. There was a unique charm that pervaded her songs, whether it was films, concerts or devotionals. Trained to be a Carnatic vocalist, her advent into films was accidental. After her first concert Columbia signed her for a few songs and soon she got her first offer to sing in films. This collection has 36 glorious songs from Malayalam films rendered in that golden voice. Appropriately titled `Ujjayanile Gayika... .,' this song from the 1969 film `Kadalpalam' won for her the only Kerala State award. Included are those evergreen numbers like `Kottum njan kettile... ' (Thacholi Othenan), `Ambalakulangare... ' (Odayil Ninnu), `Devi Sreedevi... ' (Kavyamela), `Bhagavan oru kuravanayi... ' (Vazhvemayam) and some memorable duets with Jesudas, A. M. Rajah, Udayabhanu, Uthaman, Shatha P. Nair, and others. This double cassette pack is a must for those who treasure the golden oldies. Grab it.NostalgiaK. RaghavanHMV, Rs. 84.00This popular series features the modest, gifted and one of the most loved of Malayalam film music directors, K. Raghavan. Like most music makers the first tow films for which he composed the tunes never came out of the cans. The came the landmark film `Neelakuyil.' Life and priorities were never the same for Raghavan after this film. The songs like `Kaayal arikathu valayerinjappol... ' and `Ellarum chollannu... ' turned smashing hits. Through these songs Raghavan set a new trend in Malayalam film music. Earthy, rustic melodies replaced the then prevailing trend of imitations of popular Tamil and Hindi tunes. Through Raghavan songs became a simple, direct medium to express the emotional experiences of the masses. The 36 songs in this double album may not include all of this melody-makers best. But it certainly has a fine pick of songs that reveal the rich repertoire of Raghavan's own brand of music. Included are gems like `Deivathin puthran... ' (Neelisaali), `Unarunaru... ' (Ammayekanan), `Velli nakshatrame... ' (Ramanan), `Ekanthapadhikan... ' (Ummachu), `Syamasundara pushpame... ' (Yudhakandam), and many immortal melodies dominated by a creative vitality so unique in folk music. K.P.

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