Asha Bhosle - Precious Platinum
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Asha Bhosle
Precious Platinum
Times Square Records (www.timessquarerecords.net)

Trying to recap the achievements of a music legend who's been singing for 65 of her 75 years is impossible, so I'll just mention the fact I find most remarkable: that India's Asha Bhosle is the most recorded singer in history, with 13,000 songs (and counting) to her credit. The bulk of those have of course been part of her job as the Indian film industry's most prolific playback singer- that is, one who provides the voice of someone who appears to be singing on screen. She rose to such status (a status which has also seen her collaborating with everyone from Boy George to the Kronos Quartet) by being able to sing pretty much any type of music imaginable, since that's precisely what the soundtracks of all those Bollywood movies are filled with. While the title of Precious Platinum makes it sound like some sort of greatest hits package, it's actually a collection of new recordings that further highlight Bhosle's versatility. Composer and Musical Director Nitin Shankar and lyricists A.M. Turaz, Israr Ansari and Nusrat Badr seem to have tailor-made these songs, which cover classical Indian sounds, smooth jazz, dreamy ballads, pop, reggae, Latin rhythms, touches of Bollywood camp (naturally) and more. Bhosle sings in several of India's main languages and her voice remains remarkably supple and youthful, fluidly making its way through the arrangements with the grace of an old hand and the spark of a talented up-and-comer. Sure, there's lightweight moments in there, but we're talking about one of the planet's greatest singers and she knows what bases to cover and to what extent. Precious Platinum is a delight, even in the context of a body of work as vast as Asha Bhosle's. - Tom Orr

CD available from cdroots

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CD available from cdroots

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