Watch Bill Evans at Blue Frog and the NCPA
Fans of American jazz saxophonist Bill Evans, who will perform at Blue Frog tonight Thursday, June 7, and at the National Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday, June 8, would be pleased to know that his tour of India is a one-off. “I don’t tour Europe other than with my band,” said Evans over the telephone, a couple of hours before taking the stage at Blue Frog in Delhi on Wednesday. “I chose this because these are special musicians. It comes down to how much fun you’re going to have.” The musicians in question are Mumbai-based drummer Ranjit Barot, Cameroonian bassist Etienne Mbappe, and French guitarist Marc Guillermont, who have come together to perform as a supergroup of sorts for Evan’s tour.
It was Barot’s idea to invite Evans who he met in the Spanish city of San Sebastian in July 2001 when Mbappe and Barot was performing as part of John McLaughlin’s group 4th Dimension, and Evans was touring with SoulBop, his band with trumpeter Randy Brecker. Evans, Barot, Mbappe and Guillermont, each of whom has at some point been a part of one or more of McLaughlin’s bands, promise “a truly unique and international sound” during their concerts. The 90-minute sets will include at least four of Evan’s compositions, spanning from “Rattletrap” off 1996’s hip hop and jazz fusing Escape to “Sweet Tea” off 2008’s The Other Side of Something. Listen out also for the popular SoulBop tune “Cool Eddie” and “Snap Dragon” from Evan’s first jazz-meets-bluegrass collection, 2005’s Soulgrass.
According to Evans, even though you won’t get to hear his songs as they are on his records—there won’t be a banjo or mandolin player on stage for instance—that shouldn’t take away from the enjoyment of the music. “A song is a song,” said Evans. “It can be played with any instrumentation.” Similarly, for Barot, the musical and ethnic diversity in this band only widens the scope for improvisation. “Songs are vehicles for expression,” he said. “With a group like this, you can go in so many different directions.”Tags: Bill Evans, Blue Frog, Etienne Mbappe, jazz, Marc Guillermont, Music, National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA, Ranjit Barot
Mathuradas Mills Compound
Opposite Kamala Mills
Tulsi Pipe Road
NCPA Tata Theatre
National Theatre for the Performing Arts
PhoneBlue Frog: 6158 6158, NCPA: 6622 3737
Relevant DatesBlue Frog: Thursday, June 7, NCPA: Friday, June 8
HoursBlue Frog: 10pm, NCPA: 7.30pm
Ticketing & Price InfoBlue Frog: Rs1,000, NCPA: Rs300, Rs500 and Rs800