EINDHOVEN – What would an Indian tabla-player sound like if you placed him behind a drum kit? Master percussionist Trilok Gurtu, jury member of the Tromp Competition, answered this question during a concert in Muziekcentrum in Eindhoven last Tuesday. Gurtu performed with his band before an extremely enthusiastic public.
His show was a real treat. Gurtu’s music combines elements from traditional Indian percussion with Western jazz, but then with a solid rock beat. This is no half-hearted fusion. With a guitarist and violinist following his rhythms perfectly, the band sounded like a concentrated version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra from the seventies. The exceptional musicians gave an alert performance on a knife’s edge. They had to, with a drummer that played his instruments with imagination, moved from one instrument to the next with ease and performed the most complicated rhythms within the framework of the music. His two improvised pieces were sensational. Gurtu gave it his all, with his hands and feet beating, rolling and tapping independent of eachother. His tablas were often the focus of the performance. He used his fingers to roll out the most complex patterns, which he then chanted back in the sounds used by Indian tabla students when they begin to study the art. Gurtu amazed the audience not only with his incredible craftsmanship but also with his humorous presentation.
Tromp Festival. Trilok Gurtu and band: Roland Cabezas, guitar; Carlo Cantini, violin; Stefano Dall’ora, bass. Tuesday 10 October in Muziekcentrum Frits Philips, Eindhoven
Cyntillating for sure.