WORLD MUSIC AND JAZZ IMPROVISATION – Asha Puthli: Five decades and ten unstoppable success albums

Asha Puthli, a name that is legendary for many reasons

Best known for her stirring vocals on free jazz legend, she is one of the most successful Indian vocalists. Born into a Brahmin family and grandson of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, her mother was a homemaker, while her father was a businessperson. From Stratus’ album Fear of Magnetism, Asha Puthli returned to the UK charts in 2005 with Looking Glass. In 2006, she starred at New York City’s Central Park Summerstage. Music critics have called her a pioneer of fusion with an extraordinary singing. Her third solo album was an instant classic, a true masterpiece of soul.

As she likes to say about herself, she is spiritually 6,000, mentally 98, emotionally 5, and chronologically in between. Like a large number of Hindu children born into middle-class families, she too attended English language schools. Asha Puthli was dress by designer Manolo Blahnik and photographed by Andy Warhol. Her sense of interpreting the stylistic currents of fashion has given her further visibility. In 1970, she starred in leading roles in Merchant Ivory’s Savages. In a film based on the novel by Andre Breton, she appeared as “Nadja”. In Italy, she had been a guest at the 1978 Sanremo Festival, singing The Devil Is Loose.

Recognized as a pioneer of fusion, her highly original recordings precede the fusion of east and west of current electronic music. Her sensual and oriental cooing provided the blueprint for space disco hits, such as Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder’s “I Feel Love”. Already at an early age, she began her musical, classical and opera training. She shared the Downbeat Critics’ Poll for Best Female Jazz Singer. Her popularity has grown in Europe, especially with solo albums of expressive rock a soul vein. Asha Puthli was draw to Elton John’s style, but her debut included songs by Bill Withers.

She listened to jazz and pop music on the radio, which led to her interest in fusion. At the age of thirteen, she won a competition in which she sang “Malagueña”.Songwriter, producer and actor – born and raised in Bombay in 1945 – she has recorded for EMI, Sony and RCA. After earning her degree, Asha Puthli worked as an aeronautical flight attendant, spending two months in London. This experience allowed her to make her own the suggestions of jazz. In New York, she was lead vocalist of the Blues Band of “Ain’t That Peculiar”.

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