The evening of 7th February 2008 will be remembered by many. Definitely by all those who experienced the magic of music at Mumbai's Dinanath Mangeshkar Hall in Vile Parle. It was an evening singularly dedicated to the industry's stalwart rhythm and percussion player, late Cawas Lord. Lead Guitarist Ajay Madan joined hands with Swar Aalap to pay their respects to the legendary Rhythmist. The entire Lord family had consented to be present in large numbers. No tickets were sold and the press widely publicized the 'open to all music lovers' programme.
At the very outset, it was declared that their remembrance of the genius musician was not going to be a subdued, mournful affair. It would be an energetic and entertaining evening, befitting the personality and musicality of the great musician. After all, Cawas Lord was a known prankster, responsible for the light atmosphere in the recording rooms with his quick wit, humor and practical jokes.
The show kick started with the spelling out of Swar Aalap's objectives of bringing credit to the numerous unknown and unsung musicians of India. Pyarelalji of LP duo was the first amongst musical personalities to grace the dais and address the audience about his cherished musical and personal dealings with the legendary instrumentalist whom he fondly addressed as Cawas 'kaka', a name which stuck with the veteran player. To the delight of the enraptured audience he demonstrated with live playing the patterns and style of his beloved 'kaka's' playing.
The evening's programming was designed meticulously. Short pieces of information about the great musician and his output were interspersed with live performances of his songs on stage, clippings of audio and video songs on the screen and with musicians- music makers talking about the chief's persona. This format was fitted in the schedule instrument wise. All the instruments played by Cawas Lord for Indian films were introduced one after the other. The first was the German Glockenspiel. Remember Kersi's soft but ubiquitous instrument in 'Main Zindagi ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya' and 'Nanhi kali sonay chali, hawa dheere aana'? That was the Glockenspiel - the Vibraphone and Jal tarang sound alike instrument; the original recording of the senior lord playing it for Salil Chowdhuri in 'Aankhon Mein Masti Sharab Ki' in Maya'60 was replayed in the hall.