<< -- 2 -- Colin D'Cruz JAZZ YATRA
Day one was the Aussies night out. Pity we didn't get to hear their musical instrument called
didgeridoo or didgerididnt or something. Day two features Jazz Yatra's trump card.
Trumpet player Dave Douglas from the U S of A, voted as world's best trumpet player by readers
of Downbeat magazine and Archie comics. Satya led by Dave settles down on stage, I mean sits down
on stage. Just then heaven walks past me in her tiniest black number. Tosses her tresses and glances
in my direction. Music begins. Band hasn't begun. Chaos. Band begins. Wrench myself back to earth.
Satya's seated in a neat semi circle. Myra cross legged on harmonium. Dave cross eyed on trumpet.
Samir and Sanghamitra cross country on tabla and tanpura respectively. Dave looks like a snake charmer
about to charm a snake right out of Samir's tabla. Band's playing. Music flows. Sounds charming indeed.
I notice a lot of snakes in the audience slowly rise and slither towards the canteen hip flasks in
hand. Crowd's getting restless, collective murmurs, customary grunts and some oinks of disapproval
about the raags being given to us by Satya ... nass. Rang Bhavan is under threat of being converted
into a huge open air Just not Jazz by the bay!
Mr Compere comes up and requests the crowds to stop
disturbing the performers. I'm tempted to yell back, 'the performers are disturbing us'. The trumpet
player may be hot but it's the batatawadas that are smokin' right now. So I get up and head for the
snakes, I mean snacks, at the canteen located next to the loo! And I'm not talking about the loo as
in the Louies wife. Okay I'm back. I don't quit so easily. And guess what? Half the band is joined
by three other musicians to form Myra Melford's Same River Twice! I'm slowly beginning to
understand the mathematics of music. Things are getting interesting at Jazz Yatra. The river flows.
This band is wild. Making avant garde efforts to push back the boundaries of Jazz. Pianist
Myra's brilliant and definitely an inspiring band leader. Dave is beginning to sound like he has
earned his votes. The Jap chap playing bass seems to be getting more out of his headless and
Copyright © 20 November 2003
Colin D'Cruz, India