A balmy Thursday night. A well known jazz cafe. Two renowned Jazz musicians. An upcoming jazz drummer. A setting for an interesting evening by any yardstick. And then throw in a welcome surprise – another renowned jazz musician – and you have an electric evening of progressive jazz.
The scene was at Shisha Jazz Cafe in Pune, and the ensemble was The Dragonette Project, led by bassist-singer, Roger Dragonette and comprising guitar legends, Derek Julien and Sanjay Joseph, and upcoming young drummer, Saket.
Roger, Derek and Sanjay Joseph are arguably three of the greatest Indian musicians ever to hold a guitar in their hands. It was pure luck that Derek happened to join ehat was essential scheduled as a Trio evening. And what a delightful evening it turned out to be!
I have been covering music performances out of Pune for a little over two decades now, and it is quite amazing that Roger, Derek and Joseph have been flag bearers of progressive jazz in the city through that time. Ecentric, ageless and always ready to engage in musical conversations, all three have cult fan followings among musicians and music lovers alike. While Roger and Derek are renowned for their Waterfront and Airwave acts among other bands from the 1960s down to present day, Sanjay Joseph (Ezee Meat, Airwave, Sanjay Joseph Quartet, Shibumi) recently released his debut jazz album, Shibumi. And holding fort amidst such stalwarts was Saket, literally a new kid on the block.
Some scenes from the evening.