Also performing was the German band RSxT, headed by keyboardist and electrosound manipulator Roman Shuler which gives a heady mix of music styles in seamless transition, and each vibe layered over another, tickling at nostalgia one moment, setting the ground aroar with grooves the next, and somehow sounding jazzy to the bone.
Whilst the Jazz Bazaar saw out the final performance by RSxT (they also played at Thamel’s House of Music during the Village Jam sessions last Friday), for others headlining the festival this year the show goes on at various other venues.
Dhokaima’s intimate courtyard was transformed into a sophisticated sound arena replete with Tihar lights and Latin Jazz aficionados milling about or sitting transfixed by the opening act of French songstress Faby Medina. Some in the audience were sufficiently transported to a Caribbean ambience not just with her sound but by the heat and smell of grilled seafood being flambéed.
Medina’s style is trad cool, and her mellow mellifluous voice hits each emotion, wink and wince of her songs perfectly. She jazzes up the Beatles’ stalwart Blackbird with lilting poignance, sings the sweet, sad, cheeky souls of good time girls in jazz classic Love for Sale and a tune from her native Guadeloupe, Non Musieu. She is just as at ease playing with scatty transitions to her bandmates’ solos, to sounding witty, jazzy hoots and gasps, to working her lyrics with measured, precise and well-honed enunciation. And when she lets loose her native twangy French in a creole tune, it’s transportative, and her song takes you from a balmy Jazzmandu evening, to the balmy salt-scented islands of her birth.