Louiz Banks a source of inspiration to aspiring musicians: Zakir Hussain on jazz legend

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Calling Louiz Banks 'a performer of unparalleled genius', tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain has praised the jazz artist for being a source of inspiration to young musicians of all genre in a new book.

Husssain, who has written the foreword to the musician's biography, 'Louiz Banks: A Symphony of Love', lavished praise on Banks, who turned 80 on Thursday.

Written by Ashis Ghatak, the Rupa Publications’ book released Thursday to coincide with Banks' birthday.

“When I think of Louiz, the image that appears in my mind is that of a gentle, legendary giant of, not just the music world, but also art at large,” Hussain wrote in the foreward.

“A performer of unparalleled genius, a composer par excellence, a top-shelf educator, a painter of some reckoning and a larger-than- life father figure, he is a source of inspiration to a horde of aspiring young musicians of all genres of music,” the Padma Bhushan-awardee said of his fellow musician.

Ghatak, who got in touch with Banks in 2013 for a show in Kolkata to commemorate R D Burman’s 74th birth anniversary, says the idea for the book was triggered after he learnt that the musician pursued his passion for jazz against a tide of “commercialised society”.

“I was overwhelmed when I found out how in this money-driven commercialized society, a man had just pursued his passion completely overlooking the financial prospects of it, how his uncompromising and unflinching love for jazz, a domain encouraged and followed only by a niche clientele of music-lovers, made him a solitary apostle in the movement of Indian Jazz,” Ghatak wrote in the book.

“And how a man who had dedicated his life and soul in the pursuit of jazz and in popularising this genre of music among today’s youth, had taken India to the international map of jazz music!” Ghatak wrote.

Written over 15 chapters, each named after a song by Banks, the book presents a detailed narrative on the life and experiences of Banks.

Ghatak also explores in details the early years of Banks, who would sit in the lap of his father, a pianist and trumpet virtuoso, as he performed for British and US Army officers who were stationed in Calcutta during World War-II years.

Running over 200 pages, “Louiz Banks: A Symphony of Love” delves not only into Banks’ mastery in jazz and fusion music but also his genius as a jingle composer that has resulted in iconic commercials of Britannia, Vico, Liril, among others, and Doordharshan’s ‘Freedom Run’, “Mile Sur”. PTI KIS BK BK