Laurie Burnette interviewed composer, educator and drum legend Peter Erskine who was recently in London for musical projects and to discuss his new CD 3 Nights in LA. September 2019.
Here at Jazz London radio we get the opportunity to see and interview some top class performers.
One man who comes into this category is Arun Luthra, a saxophonist and konnakol artist who hails from Massachusetts in the United States and bases his musical career In New York City. What is konnakol I hear you ask? Konnakol is the art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South Indian Carnatic music https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konnakol .
Arun was in the UK recently on tour with his group, Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project, playing venues in London and Brighton, including Ronnie Scott’s, where he had the opportunity to play as leader for the first time. Arun also came down to Greenwich to play in Oliver’s Jazz Bar, which is where I went to interview him and take in his performance. Oliver’s is a bar in the heart of Greenwich town centre, opposite Greenwich theatre and bordering Greenwich park. To access the bar you have to proceed downstairs into a dark but very cosy old school setting, perfect for taking in creative music.
Arun is a very tall and statuesque figure, in fact, too tall for the stage at Oliver’s! Arun had to perform off the stage just in front of the seated audience, one way to get closer to the musicians. As for the music itself, Arun went through an interesting repertoire of various musical fusions, from the hard bop influenced Perc-kol-ude/Toorna, which contained some konnakol to The Divvy-Up Dance with its propulsive beat and changes in tempo; where Arun played soprano saxophone. Arun was a founder member of Bjorkestra, a big band dedicated to the music of Bjork and performed Soon Starts Now, a Bjork inspired composition. Arun also played a cover, called Suspone, which was written by Mike Stern and appeared on Michael Brecker’s Don’t Try This At Home album in 1988. Arun finished his set performing Collective where he brought his konnakol skills to the fore and allowed his musicians to stretch out a bit.
All in all a highly enjoyable set in front of a very appreciate audience. Arun’s Konnakol Jazz Project U.K. tour consisted of:
Arun on tenor & soprano saxophone
Sam Leak – piano
Tom Mason – bass
David Ingamells – drums
You can listen to our interview before his set here:
Laurie Burnette interviewed pianist, composer and leader Amina Figarova to discuss her excellent new CD Road To the Sun. August 2019
Saxophonist Duncan Lamont passed recently, days short of his 88th birthday. Jazz London Radio delves into its archives to find Andrea Vicari’s interview with the great man from June 2016.
Laurie Burnette interviewed South Korean pianist Jinjoo Yoo ahead of Jinjoo joining the Chris Hodgkins International Quartet for his spring UK tour starting May 14th.
Sophia Alexandra Hall interviewed famed singer Lea DeLaria during her recent UK visit as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, November 2018.
Sophia Alexandra Hall interviewed saxophone great Bob Mintzer during his visit and performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. November 2018