Magnificent jazz harmonies ignited the mood in the SAC Auditorium on Thursday evening, as the ETH Big Band from Zurich, Switzerland, gave a splendid performance.
In a concert that was part of a three-city Indian tour, the band had the audience enthralled, even though not many among the audience were well-versed with jazz. Conductor Christoph Eck kept up a lively stream of talk in between songs, and connected very well with the audience.
The band played latino, funk, swing and big band numbers. These were punctuated by skillful Saxophone, Trombone and Trumpet solos. Each instrumentalist who came forward to deliver his/her solo was greeted with applause. The guitarist and the pianist chipped in with brilliant solos as well. The percussionist really set the mood for the Latino numbers with his triangle, maracas and conga drums.
The loudest applause came when the conductor announced their special preparation for India, an arrangement of Jai Ho that was performed flawlessly on saxophones and trombones. The percussionist came up with a piece that could rival one of any Indian Tabla player, and the audience loved his proficiency. The piece (arranged for 20 instruments) was arranged by one of the band members who is an engineering student at ETH.
It wasn’t exactly clear at any point when the concert was going to end; near the supposed end, the conductor repeatedly offered encores, and the audience was quick to cheer each time. The finale was a combination of song and dance; the more enthusiastic among the audience stepped up and danced to the tune of the last two songs to create the perfect culmination to an evening of lovely harmony.