All ears to a classical confluence

All ears to a classical confluence

Jazz show

It was the perfect example of the East meeting the West in a musical fashion.

innovative Ned McGown, Tobias Klein and Joost Buis.

While cultural exchange can result in knowledge being passed across borders, this recent show at Alliance Francaise was more than a mere exchange. It was a created harmony of sorts that could treat any music lover, discerning or not. It was the coming together of ‘Spinifex Orchestra’ from Netherlands and the City’s own veena artiste Suma Sudhindra.

The crowd was a mix of those attuned to the music and others looking for an entertaining evening. Most of the people present seemed rather pleased and content about being there. ‘Spinifex Orchestra’, a jazz-based ensemble from Netherlands, has performed in the City during the ‘Fireflies Music Festival’ last year.

Having collaborated with Suma before, this one was a naturally co-ordinated attempt. While the jazz band displayed a range known to few, Suma Sudhindra accompanied by mridangam and percussion, did provide an ambient collaboration.

The show began with two individual pieces by Suma and her troupe, moving on to two solo ones by ‘Spinifex’. These were followed by a series of fusion pieces on stage, some composed by Suma and others by individual members of ‘Spinifex’.

The audience was taken by surprise midway through the show as the two bands slowly began to exchange places and play each other’s music. While ‘Spinifex’’s flautist Ned McGown’s work resembled that of a shehnai, trombone player Joost Buis adapted his instrument to play essentially Indian music.

The pieces that followed these exchanges displayed the individual talents of the musicians on stage.
What was missing that evening though, was the trumpet player of ‘Spinifex’, Gijs Levelt, as he was unable to tour. That did not stop his band members from playing out some of his unique compositions. The band also played a composition titled ‘Poppadoo’ by the band’s bassist Dion Nijland. McGown took the opportunity to display his knowledge of all things Indian and emphasised that it was called ‘Poppadoo’ and not ‘Poppadam’.

The auditorium of Alliance Francaise saw a packed house that cheered and clapped while every composition came to a close. This indeed was a jazz show with a difference, where the fusion elements made it a concert that absolutely anyone would enjoy listening to.