Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Man with the Golden Voice

For some reasons I melted on hearing Sejuta Wajah and it was not even the full song.

The mere intro of the song was strong enough to have that effect on me.

May be I have not heard that song for quite sometimes now. May I have heard the other songs too often on the air. But I just love the intro to Sejuta Wajah.

Of course Kamelia is his signature song during his Sweet Charity years - it is always good to hear him singing this song live. In fact he is one singer that you would want to hear him live. To hear him hit the high notes without sweating would be a pleasure that you would not get from many other singers in this country. (For many other singers, it would be too painful to hear them live actually.)

To me, he is a singer first and a song writer second, though his songs are second to none, bar perhaps M Nasir. In fact, I would rate his Syair Timur album to be the best ever Malay album - melody, lyric, arrangement, studio-wise; everything.

Kamelia on the other hand is one song where you learned that maki is a proper mainstream malay word that can be sung along together with terjang. It's not a taboo word anymore.

I love the arrangement especially with the 5 piece violin/cello ensemble. Eddie Marzuki did a great job there. I have no complaint this time around with the arrangement or the band. The string section was top notch and could give a run for their money for an ensemble many times bigger. Of course the bamboo flute by the one half of Mohram was haunting and fit perfectly with the arrangement.

Just listening to the intro of Kamelia and Sejuta Wajah would give goose bumps - the keyboard and the guitar base of Kamelia was inspirational and haunting and the band last night did an awesome job last night.

However, for some reasons, I dislike Syair Laila Majnun, my favourite of all of his songs. I think it is a tad too loud for my ears. I could not enjoy either his voice or the music itself or both. To be honest, most of the rock songs performed that night, I found it difficult to digest and at times I wonder if it should be done in the small concert hall meant for classical music.

I wonder if anything got broken after a series of very loud rock songs sung by Ramli Sarip and of course the guitarist in Man Kidal is as great as always. The maintenance team of the DFP would be working overtime I guess in the aftermath of Ramli Sarip's concert! ;-)

I could not take the volume in the 'small' hall that is the DFP. May be in a much bigger hall or at a stadium, one could enjoy that loud rock songs.

Or may be I am getting too old?
Negativity aside, the surprise last night was to hear Andre Goh performing Mas Merah on stage. He is an underrated veteran singer and he should be recognized for what he had done with asli songs. You would not know that he was a singer from the 70s - in fact for both singers, you would think that time stood still last night. From my seat, he looks the same as I remember him in the 70s, and his voice - well, he carries the song very well last night.

Great songs, great singer, arrangement that stay close to the spirit of the original song and great musicians. You could not get it any better anywhere else.

In fact the crowd was feeding from his hand, and in fact he could just stand there and watch and listen them singing his song. That they did during the final part of Kamelia, much to my chagrin. I was there of course to listen to him and him alone, but even I could not help myself but to join with the rest and sing along.
Tiba-tiba langkah ku terhenti
sejuta tangan telah menahanku
ingin ku maki
mereka berkata
tak perlu kau berlari
mengejar mimpi yang tak pasti
hari ini ku bermimpi
maka biarkan dia datang
di hati mu

Aah, penangan Ramli Sarip. Honestly all other male singers pale in comparison. I remember Jamal trying to sing Ramli Sarip's song at Istana Budaya and failed - miserably, I must add.

He's the man with the golden voice.


Thank you Ismail Gareth and his team at Impress Creative. This time around, it is all about Ramli Sarip and I love it. That's the way a concert supposed to be enjoyed. This time around, no producer was on stage to even receive bouquet of flowers. The spotlight and adulation were only reserved for Ramli Sarip.

But I do wonder. I know he's Singaporean, not unlike M Nasir. Still, don't you think he deserves some kind of accolades from the government for his contributions to the Malay musics? I mean many second rate singers and actors (say Jamaluddin Hassan) are datuks (and so are second rate politicians and civil servant), but here you have someone who had done a lot to last you many life times.
Caption: The family and friends at the MPO last night. Mak and MCKam are fans of him and I remember buying both of them cassette of Ramli Sarip. I am not sure if MCKam would be true to her words in going for the second round tonight. Like I did with the BDB.

All pictures were taken by Akmal. Good job. I like what you did.

Sometimes I do wonder what Ebiet G Ade thinks of Ramli Sarip's Kamelia arrangement. But I do remember Dolly Parton's response to Whitney Houston's rendition of her (Dolly Parton's) song and making it into the smash hit I will Always Love You.

She welcomes her to take any of her other songs and make it into another big hit. Dolly Parton is one pragmatic lady, despite her wealth and assets!

And the pun was intentional. ;-)


  1. i agree awesome, fabulous & magnificient songs arrangement by Mr Eddie Marzuki blending with Ramli Sarip's husky rock voice. it is an extra ordinary concert. bravo

  2. Thanks Falisa for dropping by. I am glad you have enjoyed it too.