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Jazz Yatra

The Indian Jazz Festival, reviewed by COLIN D'CRUZ


Jazz is arguably the most argumentative form of music (even has diminished and argumented chords!). So at the outset let me present my side of the argument. Jazz is musical improvisation, right? Indian classical music is improvisation, still right? Granted Indian music does not have the harmonies of the west. But the keyword here is improvisation and not harmony, absolutely right? Indian classical music has been around for more than two thousand years. The Americans discovered Jazz less than a hundred years ago. Right then, now that we have established India as the birth place of Jazz let's head for the Jazz Yatra.

Surfacing on day one are the cats (Kangaroos?) from down under. Jamie Oehler's Quintet and the Perth Jazz Orchestra. Jamie opens. Good band. Great Jazz. Jamie and the boys are jammin' alright. On to act two which is ... ahem, an extended remix of act one. Jamie and the boys brought their buddies along to form the Perth Jazz Orchestra! It's always a thrill hearing the powerful and dynamic sounds of a big band. Reminds me about what teamwork is all about. Each and every member looked really happy to be a small part of the big picture. Standing out and upfront with the big band was vocalist Mark Underwood with a rich and velvety voice that reached out and caressed the audience. Very enjoyable evening. Good start for Jazz Yatra. Met up with lots of old and new friends all sharing a common love for music being created live.

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Copyright © 20 November 2003 Colin D'Cruz, India


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