All that JAZZ
Legendary american Jazz artiste, Stanley Jordan who will be performing in Delhi in February talks about the similarities between Jazz and Indian classical music
Q. Tell us a bit about your musical journey A. As a child I was very influenced by the likes of Sergei Prokofiev, Mozart, Beethoven and Richard Wagner, and I used to enjoy playing the piano and the guitar. I loved listening to jazz— Miles Davis, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine and Herbie Hancock—so when I was 12 years old, I tried my hand at it. The thing I liked about jazz most was that it had the complex structure, like classical music combined with the visceral power and feeling of rock and blues. Q. Who are your favourite jazz artists in the world? A. On the piano it’s Art Tatum and Keith Jarrett. On the guitar it’s Joe Pass. My favorite living jazz guitarist in George Benson. Anything from his Blue Benson album would be a great place to start. And of course, Miles Davis’ album, Kind of Blue. Q. What’s your take on jazz music scene in India? A. I don’t know a lot about it, so I’m taking out extra time during my trip to Delhi to meet and hopefully play with musicians from different genres. I feel Indian musicians would be especially good at jazz because the Indian classical tradition has similar elements. Some of my favourite jazz musicians have collaborated with Indian musicians. When I was a teenager, in the 1970s I saw John Handy and Ali Akbar Khan perform together and it really blew my mind. It was remarkable how compatible the two styles were in terms of improvisation and a musical conversation between the artistes. Q. How do you feel about performing in Delhi? A. I’m really looking forward to playing at the Jazz Yatra. I know that there is a huge buzz around this festival. I hope to bring something memorable to the audience and I look forward to hearing the other artistes.