City sways to Jazz legend Herbie Hancock’s notes

“It’s a wonderful night. There is something afoot here. I can feel it in the air. Can you feel it?” asked the legendary Herbie Hancock getting up from his piano.

Written by Nikhil Roshan | Mumbai | Published: February 20, 2009 2:35 am

“It’s a wonderful night. There is something afoot here. I can feel it in the air. Can you feel it?” asked the legendary Herbie Hancock getting up from his piano. “Yes” replied the full house gathered at the Tata Theatre at NCPA in unison. The concert was veering towards its end. Deedee Bridgewater had just delivered a histrionic rendition of a Duke Ellington number. As the jazz veteran grooved,vocalist Shankar Mahadevan,jumped on to the stage and planted himself next to her.

‘The Living Dream’ Concert,marking Hancock’s third visit to India to commemorate the 50 th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s visit to India,saw Jazz maestros and multiple Grammy award winners — pianist George Duke,singers Chaka Khan and Deedee Bridgewater,a group of students from the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz,Zakir Hussain and Herbie Hancock come together.

But Hancock’s presence was fleeting on stage. Giving his audience a brief taste of the electronic sounds he plugged into jazz to take the forms of funk and acid jazz,Night in Tunisia — one of his all time hits — was dubbed into Night in Mumbai by the playful Chaka Khan. But the truly unforgettable bit was Deedee Bridgewater singing Miles Davis’s extraordinary All Blues. Zakir Hussain encapsulated the universal spirit of the song well while addressing the press earlier on Wednesday. “It’s all blues,” he replied when asked about the experience of collaborating with a foreign musical form. With a grand backdrop bringing together the legacies of two leaders who championed the cause of peace,Bridgewater,could not have missed Amazing Grace which she sang with hysterical power. The concert ended with Shankar Mahadevan singing Raghupati Raaghav Raja Ram to a wonderful,melancholy trumpet. Nostalgia and patriotism struck a chord with the audience. “We’ll be back again,” promised Hancock.

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