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Day three opens with Harsha Makalande on solo 'Hamburg Steinway piano tuned by Mr Mistry' as Mr Compere kept announcing a little more often than the necessary sponsor plug. Anyway, Harsha sounds like he is rehearsing for his next big solo performance. He probably feels that way too since there's just a handful of Jazz enthusiasts present in their respective seats at 7:00pm sharp. Then came the Vijay Iyer Quartet. Now here is a brilliant group of musicians, each a virtuoso in his own right, with strings of academical achievement behind their music. I could almost smell the textbooks from where it all came. This is great Jazz. The musicians on stage are incredibly tuned into each other. They have obviously been playing together for a long time or may be they can read each others minds or perhaps they read each others textbooks. Then again, it could just be the simple fact that they share each others T-Shirts. Great performance. Good show. Brilliant musicianship. But for some reason the quartet doesn't really make me want to stand on my chair and yell 'yebdiyow'. At one point though, in the middle of the bass solo I did feel like getting up and waltzing into heaven seated just two rows ahead. Unfortunately the tune was in five and a half time. This would certainly complicate things in the ballroom department of dance.

What's next ? Oh yes. Its Malcolm Mc'Neil, from New Zealand and you better believe this, he is being backed by Jamie and the Jammers from day one. Now Mally looked a little bewildered on stage. He was probably wondering what the heck is he doing on stage at an international Jazz festival when he should have been safely tucked into a cosy nightclub at some swanky five star hotel in New Zealand. He did put up a spirited performance however, and considering he found out who his back up band was only the night before showtime, he did exceptionally well. In fact I even overheard a couple of women expressing their intense desire to hug him as he sang, have I told you lately.

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Copyright © 20 November 2003 Colin D'Cruz, India


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