Elements of freshness

Jazz Utsav

Elements of freshness

David Binney, Wayne Krantz, Cliff Almond and Anthony Jackson. dh photo

The Jazz Utsav '09 took place in the City recently, which saw performances by famous artistes like Wayne Krantz on the guitar, Anthony Jackson on the bass guitar, Cliff Almond on the drums and David Binney on the saxophone.

Though the event has been taking place in India since 1978, it is the first time that it is happening in Bangalore. In an event prior to the concert, the musicians said that they were looking forward to playing for the crowd here.

About the music they would be playing, Wayne Krantz said, “We don’t really rely on standard jazz language when we play. We improvise. We like the idea of playing rock or funk, so we try to induce the same energy in the music that we play to bring in an element of freshness.”

“The world is totally slot driven, every music has a specific audience. The word jazz is nice because today it is so wide that it actually doesn’t mean anything. Any instrument can be fit into the ‘jazz’ slot,” he added.

As they would not be playing the exact tunes and since they were improvising, they said that the chemistry between them had to be good.

“In a performance, the chemistry between the musicians is very essential. Good music is made because they are great musicians and they have affinity towards music. If there is no chemistry, then it sinks like a stone,” Wayne asserted.
All, except David Binney, are visiting India for the first time and admitted that they were not very well-versed with contemporary Indian music.

So would they welcome the trend of Indian music in jazz? “There is a guy in my band who plays the tabla very well. It is a welcome trend. There is a lot of Hindi influence in New York jazz,” said David.

“We haven’t collaborated with Indian musicians till now but would want to. People are reaching out and grabbing bits and pieces of music from other places. It is like a collage,” Wayne added.

The Utsav, this year, had a line up of bands from six countries, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Germany, Norway and Poland.

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