Blending jazz with traditional music

Abhay Sharma, a saxophone player from the band ‘The Revisit Project’, talks to Millennium Post ahead of his performance

With mesmerising performances by artist João Bittencourt and The Revisit Project, 'Under the Banyan Tree on a Full Moon Night' was a unique concert series that showcased the rich and diverse music through an eclectic mix of artists and sounds from all over India. The title of the concert, held on February 16, did complete justice with the ambience by setting up the performances under the tranquil repose of a banyan tree with minarets of the iconic Qutub Minar as the backdrop. The Baithak-style evenings, where moonlight and music blend to recreate the poetic charm of traditional musical gatherings, offer audiences an intimate experience with the like-minded and an opportunity to engage with the musicians.

While talking to Millennium Post, Abhay Sharma, a saxophone player from the band 'The Revisit Project' reveals the details about Jazz, diverse music scene of India, Bollywood plans and much more...

How did you get the idea of blending jazz with funk?

Funk and Jazz both come from Blues, and they find common foundation in terms of musicians who started them. Having heard a lot of Blues and big band music growing up, the group realised that as a unit, our primary emphasis is keeping the groove intact and writing good harmony and melody (forming the backbone of Funk music). Thus, our aim was to keep doing what we love.

How much popularity has jazz gained in India?

Jazz has had different scenes for a while now in this country. Places like Calcutta, Delhi, Bangalore and Bombay have all had their share of addition to the scene nationally too. But now, the tier 2 cities are coming up with kids growing up with YouTube and more access to music and the ability to learn and understand has tremendously been transformed. New schools are coming up in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore and it's definitely on the rise. Ultimately, it's about musicians sticking to their task of making music for as long as they can. As long as that happens the scene will keep growing.

What kind of compositions are you working on currently?

We just recorded a song called 'Take that sorry' which releases next month. It's a duet between our two singers Chezin and Vrnda and its heavily inspired by Vulfpeck and The Meters. Basically, for now we are keeping the music very old school Funk based. But, as a unit, we are definitely moving towards sounding big and tight like Lettuce (An American Funk/Jazz Fusion band) at the same time maintaining our original ideas (in terms of writing) based out of daily experiences in the city.

Would you be interested working in Bollywood projects?

We are open to all forms of music. I play sessions for Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy, Vishal Bhardwaj ji, Adnan Sami and some other musicians from Mumbai. One of our teammate Karan has spent two years in Mumbai working with T-Series and various composers. But, our musical mainstay is The Revisit Project.

When was this band formed?

The band was formed in 2014 but the current line-up has been writing music for two years now.

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