High on technique and finger wizardry, jazz/blues guitarist Scott Henderson played to a spirited, if not a packed audience at St.Andrews auditorium in Bandra on Monday. Organised by Sandeep Chowta Projects, the gig was well attended by city musicians like Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa, Ranjit Barot and Karl Peters among others. “Scott is one of the finest guitarist out there. It is really fantastic that Sandeep brings these artistes down”, said Noorani.
Thrice as good
Known for his signature guitar tone, Henderson blended blues, rock, funk and jazz with his trio, featuring bassist Travis Carlton, son of Grammy award-winning jazz legend Larry Carlton and Allan Hertz on drums. “I am really happy to be playing again in India,” said Henderson, who has, declared Chowta at the start of the concert, “made India his permanent home now.”
In an exceptional show of professionalism, Carlton played the gig despite news of his mother’s demise coming in that very morning. The trio’s performance was replete with soulful solos and interspersed with extreme crescendos and mellow retreats. While re-tuning his guitar between tracks, Henderson kept the audience entertained with his wisecracks, most of them pulled off at the drummer, “Allan here is drunk tonight,” he joked, much to the amusement of the good-humoured drummer. “And we thought this was a professional concert!” smiled Henderson. The second set kicked off with an energetic number, with intense bass slapping and heavy drum grooves. Just when one thought that the band was fading off beautifully, they charged backed forcefully to grip the audience once again.
Not wanting to disappoint the handful of ladies in audience, Henderson dedicated a ballad to them. “Thank you for coming girls, and this slow number is specially for you,” he announced. Despite playing one encore request which was dedicated to Henderson’s dog Buster, who according to the guitarist, “was just back from the scrotum doctor and mellowing down quite nicely,” the discerning audience was left craving more.