By Somali K Chakrabarti
‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong,’ says the Murphy ’s Law.
Many of you would have heard of Murphy’s Law, which states that we cannot stop an in-opportunity from happening, if it is supposed to happen. True!
Lately, Murphy decided to strike on my blog. Last weekend, all of a sudden, I found myself locked out of WordPress, for no apparent fault. How frustrating! Murphy didn’t stop at that and cast its evil spell on my keyboard, and mouse as well. So, there I went on a short blogging hiatus. Thankfully, the problem has now been sorted out with the help of WordPress support.
But, I won’t complain further, for the short break actually worked as a bogging detox and gave me much to write about. Here, I am back with an account of a cool jazzy evening spent watching the performance of the Russian jazz maestro Igor Butman and his quartet.
It is not ever so often that one gets to hear a virtuoso saxophonist and skilled band leader in action, with his amazing team of jazz musicians. So, when I heard about the show and saw the invite, I just had to go. By the way, did you know that the word “cool” and “hip” were originally jazz terms?
My limited understanding of Jazz made me dig a little about Igor Butman before attending the event.
Known for popularizing Jazz in Russia, Igor Butman has enthralled audiences all over the world with his performance in different countries. Bill Clinton called him “the greatest living jazz saxophone player.”
The event organized at NCPA, Mumbai, on 6th October, as a part of Igor Butman’s multi city Jazz tour in India was sponsored by some corporate houses including, but not limited to, SIBUR Petrochemical India, Religare, TCS, etc.
It was breezy evening as we entered the NCPA. The show was about to start at 7.00 pm. We entered the auditorium and took our seats.
The stage was all set. An introduction in Hindi by Ms Tanya set the ground for the performance. Hearing a Russian publicly speaking in Hindi, I was a little surprised. Adding to my surprise, she continued with most of her address in Hindi, speaking reasonably well, as she introduced Igor Butman and his quartet.
The event started with Oleg Akkuratov, an extraordinarily talented pianist and vocalist playing magic on the piano. A visually challenged boy from a small Russian town, Armavir, Oleg won the International Piano Competition in Novosibirsk at the age of nineteen. He has won countless international contests, participated in UNESCO’s International Choir, and has performed in the Olympic Games and Para-Olympic Games, inspiring many handicapped people.
Edward Zizak was on the drum kit, playing the percussion, Sergei Korchagin played the double bass. Saxophone in hand, Igor Butman coordinated the team, known for its strong rhythm in Russian jazz.
In perfect sync with each other, they exhibited a marvelous combination of sound and technique, and together they created a musical symphony that filled up the auditorium. Blending Russian music with Hindi words, Oleg Akkuratov sang a couple of songs including Jimmy Jimmy and Mera Joota hai Japani. A student from the National Association of the Blind was invited to join with the jazz team to sing Mera Joota hai Japani along with Oleg Akkuratov. Edward Zizak, on his drum kit, played the percussion to perfection infusing energy into the music with his mastery on the drum.
Completely immersed in their compositions, and playing from a different realm of consciousness that translated in their music, the musicians enthralled the audience. From Jazz classics to foot tapping numbers, one after the other they belted out compositions that had the audience clapping rhythmically with the tune.
The jazz evening lasted for three hours with a short munching break in between. Certainly, it was a musical treat to remember. No wonder good music cuts across all boundaries and barriers and creates a common ground unites people in the harmony of the rhythm.
Finally, when Murphy is busy spoiling a few things, there are many other things to be happy about.
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