Tune in to Jazz renditions of Hollywood classics at this Mumbai concert

Jun 23, 2017, 17:11 IST | Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya


Rajeev Raja, the Fusion and Jazz flautist, was an advertising professional for two decades

Jazz has been an inseparable from cinema since its inception. The genre reached its pinnacle at the end of World War I (1918), and stayed there till the start of the Great Depression in 1929. The Jazz Singer (1927), an American musical by Alan Crosland, is a product of this epoch. It was one of the first feature films to have the characters syncing their lips to the music. Tonight, an ensemble featuring Jazz experts will pay tribute to the relationship between Jazz and cinema at a concert, titled Jazz Goes To The Movies.

The group will be playing Jazz renditions of popular film soundtracks. "There will be tunes from the James Bond movies, The Godfather (1972), Mission Impossible (1996), The Sound of Music (1965) and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)," says flautist Rajeev Raja, who designed the recital. Keeping in mind Jazz's presence in films till today, they will also play music from some recent releases. "We will also perform songs from La La Land (2016)," he adds.


Sanjay Divecha has been a Jazz exponent in the city for over three decades

Raja, known for his fluency with silver and bamboo flutes, pinpoints the challenges involved when throwing a tune into the Jazz basket. "The biggest one is to retain the melodic essence of these classics and yet provide a twist. I did the basic arrangement for the tracks with pianist Rahul Wadhwani and bassist Karl Peters. Later, Rahul got down to the task of detailing and writing out the structure and parts for the various instruments," he says.

He believes Jazz is an inspiration, and that's how it has never lost its importance. "It is present in most soundtracks. Jazz is a living, breathing and evolving art form. Every musician who plays Jazz adds something to it, and gets his reward from the genre. It keeps growing and changing, just as society and humanity does," adds Raja.

Kurt Peters took his first drums lesson at the age of nine from Ranjit Barot

Drummer Kurt Peters adds that in Jazz, there is plenty of scope for improvisation. "Film industries across the world have been inspired by Jazz arrangements, both from an orchestral as well as from the improvisation perspective," he explains. "Hans Zimmer, John Barry, John Williams and Ennio Morricone are a few of my favourites."

On Tonight, 7 pm onwards
At NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 66223737
Cost Rs 300 onwards

Full line-up

Rajeev Raja (flute)
Sanjay Divecha (guitar)
Rahul Wadhwani (piano/keys)
Shirish Malhotra (saxophone)
Ramon Ibrahim (trombone)
Karl Peters (bass)
Kurt Peters (drums)

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