Out of many Western Musical genres, what is the most special aspect of Jazz? This genre evolves itself for every performance and in that process, innovates by itself and thereby gets better. Perhaps this feature is most unique and gifting for Jazz more than any other World genres in that case. Jazz doesn’t attempt to break a conventional classical form but tries to merely “bend” them – and the result is an experimental portrait of various shades and intensities.
This is the reason why no two versions of the same composition sound exactly the same. The best aspect of this continuous metamorphosis is that the audience yearns for the genre every moment – as if it is afresh! Jazz takes the listener to those roads never taken – in the musical mind of a listener. As it is always said, a conventional route would get monotonous after a while but an unpredictable route will definitely offer surprises.
The popular Jazz quartet headed by the celebrated drummer Adrian D’Souza did exactly the same in their masterful performance in Secunderabad Club on May 6th 2017. The ensemble is quite strong on the artist level with New York based Pawan Benjamin on the saxophone, power packed Karan Joseph on the Keyboard, and Lydia Hendrik Je Hornung who balanced the undercurrent energy levels with soothing vocals.
The quartet chose to display various aspects of Jazz with their own interpretations of instrumentals such as Beatrice by Joe Henderson. Surprisingly, they performed two compositions of Wayne Shorter namely Yes or No and Black Narcissus. The entire ambience of the venue changed miraculously in the live music of this breathtaking ensemble – and they clearly exhibited perfection and mastery along with extreme laid back nature which is so crucial for every Jazz artist. Adrian D’Souza proved once again why he is the most loved Jazz drummer in the country for his consistent display of mastery over the instrument. He doesn’t sound loud at any point of time but was in convincing unison with his other musicians.
Pawan Benjamin brings the hues of New York Jazz to Hyderabad with his typical saxophone playing and compliments the fun filled yet breathtaking keyboard display of Karan Joseph.
While the instrumental versions were more dynamic in nature, the atmosphere slowly took a bypass route with the entry of Lydia on stage. She brought a relaxing trance aspect of Jazz to life with her silken vocals showing amazing control over dynamics and expressivity. In fact, she normalised the dynamic nature of Jazz in perfect proportions. Lydia brought a new meaning to many popular compositions like Speak Low, Tenderly , East of the Sun and also breathed life to a Portuguese number Inutil Paisagem.
Before this main event, the concert opened with an opening act by Deccan Voices – a Hyderabad based choir comprising of energetic singers trained and headed by Joe Koster on the keyboard. Their joyful singing had compositions ranging from Classical Jazz such as I’m Beginning to See the Light and also the 80s Rock Hit Africa by Toto. It was indeed a great achievement to see the choir reproduce most of the arrangements in just their voices and Joe Koster’s playful solos for each song deserves a good mention as well. The choir performance undoubtedly set the stage on good energy levels.