2 August 2009

Nitya plays pop!

My mate Nitya studied at the Jazz School years back, but his interests are really outside that sphere. He played a solo set today at the Beyond Q Bookshop this afternoon, and I went along for a listen. I expected Indian flutes and scales, but mostly got singer-songwriter fare, but it was well chosen and expressed Nitya’s serious and personal side. There was a poetic Leonard Cohen tune that I didn’t recognise, Louis Armstrong’s What a wonderful world, Carole King's You've got a friend, and the like, all played with conviction and sentiment. This was a selection of the more profound end of the pop spectrum, and they are decent tunes and ones that I enjoy. I hadn’t expected a set with Nitya singing with an acoustic guitar. I had expected flutes, Indian scales and the like. Nitya played a raga on guitar and vocals that displayed those Indian tonalities, then another on Southern Indian bamboo flute as a request. Apparently the flute is pitched in E with a modified pentatonic scale (1-2-3-5-7 with various alterations?), and he played with the ornaments and drone accompaniment and conception of this style. These two Indian tunes were my favourites for the session.

I used to play with Nitya in a band that I like to think of as M.E.N.S (Michael, Eric, Nitya and Scott appearing as … M.E.N.S.). (This was the name I liked; we mostly appeared as The Project.) I doubt I’ll never get the fortuitous opportunity to use such a band name in future. Here’s an old pic of our (perhaps motley) outfit. Great to see you about, Nitya.

Nitya Bernard Parker played at the Beyond Q Bookshop.

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