Back in action with a bang

Back in action with a bang

Formidable Talent

BLUES: Mili Nair performing in the City.

Against a backdrop of Mediterranean elegance at Olive Beach, there was Mili Nair on vocals, Keith Peters on bass and Sumith Ramachandran on guitar who took the audience on a  pleasure trip of classic and contemporary pieces showcasing a fine selection of Jazz, Soul, R & B and Classic Rock.

“This is a dream collaboration for me. After performing with them in Jakarta, it is wonderful to be back again as a group,” says Mili, the versatile, lead vocalist with a background in both Western and Indian classical music. Her vivacious personality and exceptional voice combined with the talents of one of India’s best bassists, Keith Peters and Sumith Ramchandran’s classy guitar work, made for a truly enjoyable performance. The sound was just right keeping the tempo high and lending itself beautifully to the ambience without overwhelming the diners with volume.

An added bonus was the impromptu addition of Hamesh, the percussionist and Mili’s newly-wed spouse, who came in to drum for a couple of numbers. Keith, the famous Chennai-based musician, whose modest demeanour belies his vast experience and talent, is a permanent member of A R  Rahman’s team and has given over five thousand live performances, played for over thousand songs and worked with most music directors in the country. Along with him, Sumith, who has performed with most of the who’s who in the music industry in India, lent his skills to the performance, which on the whole was an interesting mix of Afro-Cuban rhythms and traditional jazz stylings.

The supportive harmony notes rose above the steady bolero-like rhythm, at times making for a eclectic mix of drama and harmony, typical of Latin Jazz. The talented trio combined clever improvisations so characteristic of jazz music, with  a gentle creativity winding through the rich chord changes and Mili’s vocals providing a smart and modern perspective to some of the classic tunes, bringing together aesthetics of the past and present into a solid concept. All in all, the group’s cohesive musical approach delivered strong compositions that emphasised the band’s strengths and highlighted their personal talents. A memorable evening on all counts.

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