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Live Jazz-Funk Tracks Bring Darshan Doshi Trio’s Detailed Compositions And Signature Riffs To Center Stage

Flipsyde Staff
Flipsyde Staff Features

At the beginning of this year, Darshan Doshi Trio released an expansive, live jazz-funk saga that spanned 7 tracks over the course of 34 minutes and featured two guest vocalists.

The pure five instrumentals allow DDT’s detailed compositions and soundscaping to take the lead role and make you pay attention to every beat. The tracks were captured live during tours in the post-pandemic sessions; four in 2021 with three more a few weeks later in 2022. The recordings were live and unrefined, nailed in a single take. They were aiming for energy over perfection in the performances but with artists this seasoned, you get both. The format is not the classic jazz trio with Avishek Dey  handling the bass parts, Rhythm Shaw slinging his tough, tight jazz oriented guitar lines, and Darshan Doshi drumming and holding down a crisp, crackling back beat driving the attack.

Darshan Doshi Speaks To Us  

"Darshan Doshi Trio was formed back in 2017 when I was working on a few singles with Rhythm Shaw and Mohini Dey. After that I have been doing a lot of concerts with Darshan Doshi Collective which is a more popular band. Then in 2021 after the lockdown when things were again opening up, we pushed Darshan Doshi Trio back on touring that’s when this video series, Live on Tour 2021 was shot and now we have Rhythm Shaw on Guitars and Avishek Dey on base and we also had one guest artist from each city. We toured 5 cities and had Rakesh Chaurasiya join us in Mumbai, Varun Venkit in Pune, Vasundhara Vee in Delhi, Varijashree Venugopal in Bangalore and Sambit Chatterjee in Kolkata.

The highest point for DDT is this album and the 5 city tour that happened in October 2021 which was a big success.

What’s been your favourite concert to date?

It is difficult to pick one single favourite gig out of 2500-3000 gigs that I have performed at, but one very special moment was back in 2017 when I got to share the stage with maestro Ustad Zakir Hussainji. I have grown up watching him, and he is one of my biggest inspirations as a percussionist and then getting a call from him to share the stage was very special to me.

What would be three golden rules you’d give to a band starting out?

Fortunately, I do music for the love of it and not for making money out of it, so it's a bit simple for me. We musicians do commercial music, that’s where our bread and butter comes from, but when it comes to jazz fusion music and especially with this band, it's more about playing our music and spreading the music that we want to play and being able to share that with our fans who follow our commercial music. So it's important to do that for our love for music and the minute you start thinking about making money from it, it’ll be difficult as currently there are very limited venues to perform and realistically you cannot expect any big monies coming out of those situations so I would suggest to people who want to enter into playing music to find a balance between commercial music and the music you want to play.

We all know about the evolution of Jazz music in India, from elite clubs in 1920’s Bombay and Kolkata first brought in by Western influences to a post-independence revival with Indian classical influences, to a modern day love for Indian jazz. How big is Jazz music in India today?

Currently, the jazz scene is not as great or big as the commercial and independent market, but I feel things are going to change very soon as there's a big boom of independent music which is now being promoted at a very big level, and for us as musicians it’s very important to keep pushing it as much as possible. Yes, we need more festivals and stages to perform in order to support jazz music and when that happens you will see many new young musicians getting into jazz music.

We’ve listened to most of your songs. Who have been your recent favourite musical collaborations? What’s your favourite thing about the collaborative process?

I love working on collaborative projects and especially with musicians from different backgrounds. This lockdown has been really fruitful when it came to collaborations as I got to collaborate with numerous amazing artists starting from indie artist like Aditi Ramesh to Swaminath Selvaganesh, to young drummers like Shravan Shamsi, percussionist Ojas Adhiya, and my recent collaboration with Purbayan Chatterjee on a song, Khula Asmaan (Firmament), from his latest album ‘Unbounded Abaad’ which included artists like Javed Ali, Taufiq Qureshi and Jordan Rudess, who is my idol and getting a chance to share the stage with him was a very big moment for me.”

Last but by no means least … What's next for Darshan Doshi Trio? How is 2022 looking?

2022 is going to be very exciting for DDT as we have several amazing gigs and festivals lined up. Also, we’re releasing a studio album at the end of this year which will feature a couple of guest artists.