Daniel Pearl’s jazz tunes

Mid-Day-16th November ’06

Soul Fry at Bandra, may be known for its Crispy Bombil Fry and Karaoke nights, but now the watering hole has another special to add to their board.

Angelina Jolie will be shooting part of A Mighty Heart, a film based on slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s life, at the restaurant.

“It’s true,” says owner Meldan D’Cunha. He is, however, unaware of the dates. “The unit is still in the process of obtaining a shooting permit,” he says.

“This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” guitarist Colin D’Cruz and D’Cunha had told themselves when they first met Pearl, an “easygoing” music lover, who sat alone at the bar and swayed his head to the sound of soulful jazz, in 1999. It started with nights of blues and beer and a chase to Goa before it was brought to an abrupt end.

D’Cruz recalls how Pearl listened to his band Jazz Junction’s performance with interest.

They got talking and D’Cruz invited Pearl to jam with the band, which later became a regular feature at Soul Fry. “He used to play the Blues with his unique violin, to which he had added a fifth string for bass. He never adhered to a single Blues artist,” says the musician.

A few months later when Pearl shifted base from Paris to Mumbai with his wife Mariane, he discovered that D’Cruz was playing in Goa. “He followed me to Goa so that his wife could listen to us!” laughs D’Cruz.

But it was only when D’Cunha and D’Cruz visited the couple’s Malabar Hill house, on Mariane’s birthday that they realised Pearl’s passion went beyond jazz. “He had CDs from all over the world and expensive recording equipment in his house. That’s when he told me, ‘journalism pays for my real passion’,” recalls Colin. His wife too was a percussion enthusiast.

After Pearl left for Pakistan, they kept contact through e-mails, before Pearl disappeared. Naturally, they were devastated when they read about his death. “But we will always have Soul Fry,” they say.

By Kanika Parab


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