All That Jazz!

By Sunil Kumar

Sweltering heat, svelte figures and a Slav accent! After listening to the fun rhythms of jazz in a packed audience; the music is still humming somewhere in my ears. So I read somewhere that the foot-stomping melodies used in this style of playing found its way into Bollywood; and Amitabh was named Anthony Gonsalves after a Goan jazz musician(who else?).

Ensembles are a distinctly Western idiom; as India despite its hypocritical emphasis on the collective; often pursues music as an individual sport. The big band leader Igor Butman was an individual virtuoso but then the big band sounded good as a whole.

This is a relative privilege in a city where 3.5 million pass through the Gothic structure of C.S.T(formerly named after our heathen queen; Victoria. (Mleccha in Sanskrit). ). Misery can often be found in numbers; or optimism in the long form of humanity(I mean the population of Mumbai).

For once; I enjoyed the music with its rather earthy glamorous feel; and positive vibrancy. Samosas and tea; in the theatre by the sea. This city is a heavenly hellhole with its soul mired in purgatory. Jazz may be a partial stairway to heaven; to please my Indian ancestors; I’ll also add the contemplative strains of desi shastriya sangeet. Rhythm divine!



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