Almost a kilometer long queue of cars parked on the street and uncountable heads covering 6 acres of lush green Nehru Park, with eclectic jazz music wafting in the air was the scene at the second day of the 3-day Delhi Jazz Festival.
A guest band who opened the day's act was a group of young Delhi jazz musicians who called themselves the Sold Out band. Their clean and groovy music set the mood for the evening and was definitely an inspiration for Delhi jazz music enthusiasts.
Second up was the Dini Virsaladze quartet from Georgia. Dinara (Dini) Virsaladze, who led the band, is a famous Georgian pianist with a vast experience of playing at concerts big and small. The band comprised of David Masteranov - a guitarist known for his work with Tamaz Kurashvili jazz band (1981-1985), Levan Deisadze on the bass and Nika Abashmadze on the drums. They together performed some of Dini's compositions, such as Voyage, Smiling Face and Umbrella. Dini's creative and delicate moves on the piano and David's Allan Holdsworth-styled guitar riffs along with the bass and drums backup gave a restrained yet melodious texture to the numbers. Levan's punchy bass slaps left the audience gasping!
The next band was Moonarra from Bengaluru, comprising of Jagadeesh M.R (Guitars, Oud, composer), Madhuri (singer/songwriter), Prakash Sontakke (slide guitar, Hindustani vocals), Karthik Mani (Percussionist/ Drummer) and Wilson Kenneth (Electric bass). Their music was a rich fusion of jazz, Carnatic and Indian classical music, which was a never-heard-before experimental music which they have developed into smooth flowing sound over the years. Prakash Sontakke, who has a rich Hindustani music background, played out melodies from his Hindustani hawain slide guitar that wove into a fine tapestry of sound. Their rendition of the 'Vande Mataram' was totally out of the world!
The final act of the day was by Eol Trio of France. This amazing three-piece sound machine comprised of Denis Girard (pianist and keyboard), Laurent David (bass guitar) and Xavier Girard (drums). They called their music "progressive jazz rock," and their inspirations varied from Led Zeppelin, E.S.T (Esbjörn Svensson Trio, jazz band from Sweden), Medeski & Wood, Emerson Lake & Palmer to name a few. If you thought some strange buzzing sound as that of a loosely fitted electric plug was coming out from their music, you would be forgiven because that's just what Xavier would be creating using his Kaoss pad (an effects processor for audio and musical instruments) to blend it with the piano and bass melodies. Their music was a breath of fresh air. And some of the grey-haired ladies in the audience were seen grooving to their new beat. "Our music can be enjoyed by kids to the grandfather," said Denis when I asked him to sum up their kind of music. No wonder the Delhi audience couldn't just get enough of these awesome threesome! Grab their albums Mr K and band-name titled album End of Line. It's a musical treat you wouldn't want to miss.
Denis and Xavier (brothers) have been composing since their early teens. You can check out http://www.facebook.com/EOLTrio for updates of their acts.
The last day of the festival (18th March) will feature bands from Germany, Mexico and Spain.
The Delhi Jazz Festival was started in 2011 by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations in collaboration with Seher in an attempt to bring together Jazz musicians from different countries on one platform.