Lately, I’ve been making too many playlists honoring musicians who’ve recently died,
but whether it’s been Joe Sample, Jackie Cain or Kenny Wheeler, they’ve lived
a pretty good long life – 75 to 86 years old. Now, I’m coming to terms with the
death of a master musician who was only 45 years old – a man who just kept
getting more amazing and whom I expected to be able to give the world at
least 40 more years of his amazing musicianship.
In the eighties, I remember sitting in a favorite Indian restaurant and being
gobsmacked by what I was hearing over their sound system. Who was this
seasoned professional player of this stringed instrument? When I was shown
the cover of the cassette, I wondered why this child was featured on its cover.
Was this the performer’s young son? …and why would he feature the child over
himself. My quest began to find more recordings – going to every Indian food
and/or video store I could find to grab up more of this wonderful food for the soul.
Since those days, I’ve had the chance to see Uppalapu “Mandolin” Srinivas –
simply known as U. Srinivas – a couple of times in concert. When he last
arrived in town in May of last year, I couldn’t make it to the show (and figured
that he’d be back again in a couple of years – he was only 44, so yes, he was
bound to come back, right?), but I had told a friend who was a member of the
local Indian music society that he really should go see him for his first time.
You may know his work with Remember Shakti and Michael Brook
plus various wonderful soundtracks. He made nearly 50 recordings and now
Srinivas is gone – complications that arose from a liver transplant the day before.
YouTube is filled with his work, and here‘s a Spotify link to start
you off on your journey if you haven’t yet discovered him.
(photos: Hindustan Times)
I’m spending quite a bit of time with him now: