Multi-cultural trio come together for jazz

Multi-cultural trio come together for jazz

Musical beats

The Spanish Cultural Centre Instituto Cervantes, played host to the sensational Jazz group Elkano Browning Cream recently.

The director of the Institute Oscar Pujol, its faculty and students enjoyed the musical evening at which the president of Basque country, an autonomous group of Spain, and some other dignitaries were special guests. The musical trio included Elkano Browning Cream: Mikel Azpiroz of Basque - an expert of all types of keyboard instruments, Parisian Franck Mantegari on drums and American guitarist/singer Matt Harding, played their most popular numbers to enthrall the audience. Elkano Browning Cream is synonymous with hypnotic and contagious rhythms that evoke memories of the great Hammond Organ Trios from the glorious years of Blue Note Records.

These are personalized and realized through the filter of the nomadic and multicultural members of the trio. They focus on a musical essence in the direction of pure groove, i.e. danceable rhythms. After meeting in 2005 and sharing stages throughout western USA, these three musicians embarked on a journey to the Cotton Club in Shanghai, China where they recorded their first CD together.

The self-titled Elkano Browning Cream (Mamusik, 2006) is an exotic collection of elegant grooves and sophisticated melodies which tastefully fuse Western musical roots with African, Latin and Oriental influences. The group belted out tracks from this album to mesmerise the audience.

The concert began with Oscar welcoming the musical group, followed by the trio first playing only the instruments. Students danced to the Carribean’s joyous rhythms as well as tribal African beats. Post this, the group came to performing their chartbusters. They began with ‘Xinjiang Woman’ and continued with Preston Foster's ‘I Got My Mojo Working’. This was popularized by Muddy Waters and is revisited by the Elkano team with a tempo that transmits the song’s energy in a tantric fashion until it explodes in chorus.

Continuing with the musical trip, Elkano Browning Cream emphasized on the hypnotic side of groove and demonstrated an eclecticism that showcases the beauty encountered amidst variety. They played music from their second album Sugar and closed the concert with solo instrumental performances by each member of the band.

A visitor to concert, Manoj Srivastava, later exclaimed, “This is the most exciting jazz programme I have attended till date. Besides the Elkano team performed exquisitely. I wish they visit India more often.”

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