By Shevlin Sebastian
The ace musician Emile Isaacs passed away at 1.30 p.m. at the Medical Trust Hospital, Kochi on January3. He was 70 years old. He had been suffering from diabetes, kidney-related ailments as well as breathing difficulties. With his passing, one more stellar musician goes missing from Kochi as well as India's music scene.
Emile had been the bass guitarist for 'The Sound' band, which accompanied Usha Uthup in all her performances. “I had been with Usha for 38 years,” he had told this reporter a few years ago. They have performed all over the world, including offbeat places like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
Unfortunately, in January, 2009, during a concert in Kolkata, Emile could feel his hand becoming numb. It was the beginning of a stroke. And it affected the movement of his left arm and leg. Unfortunately, it brought his career to a halt.
Emile, the son of a prominent violinist, Joe Isaacs, started playing the guitar at 15. Because of his natural talent, he was hired as a member of playback singer K.J. Yesudas' band. They performed all over Kerala and in the Middle East. “Yesudas made me,” Emile said. “I was with the band for eight years.”
Later, Emile started a band called the Elite Aces, which consisted of his brothers, Eugene, Rex, and cousin Pinson Correia. They began playing at Volga, Sealord, and the Casino hotels at Kochi. Soon, they became popular.
When Usha came down from Mumbai, at the invitation of the Kottayam Arts Society, the Elite Aces performed for her. “This was our first concert with Usha,” said Emile. They clicked together and played for a number of years. However, in 1979, the Elite Aces broke up and the band members went their different ways, while Emile stayed on with Usha, at Kolkata.
Today, a sombre Usha says, “I am totally grieved about the passing of Emile. He has been a part of my career for so many years. It was fantastic the kind of music we used to do. And, over the decades, we graduated from one genre to another. He was a great musician as well as a wonderful friend.”
(The New Indian Express, Kerala edition)