Bangalore-based vocalist Radha Thomas and her band appeared to be rather popular among the city's jazz enthusiasts.
At a recent performance at B Flat, she set the pace with simple, refined pieces, each capturing a clear mood, from sultry and sauntering to morose supplications, while a short montage of the movies which inspired Radha and her band UNK's playlist, played along silently in the background, adding art to the experience.
The combination of music and video clips drew the audience. Radha's soulful rendition of But Not For Me (When Harry Met Sally), Angel Eyes (Leaving Las Vegas), After You've Gone (Rumor Has It) and Love Is Here To Stay (An American In Paris) elicited cheers and claps at the climactic moments.
Like a typical jazz singer, she alternated between being the star and just another band member, frequently standing aside for prolonged periods to allow the instrumentalists to enjoy the spotlight. Aside from the stirring vocals, Matt Littlewood's saxophone solos were the highlight of the evening.. Most of the pieces were rubato melodies coordinated with bass lines.
Another fascinating element of the bands performance was the rhythmic harmonisation of the bass, drums, guitar, saxophone and keyboards, all played with a sensitivity and lightness that allowed for a deeper, more colourful group sound.
The band rounded up their performances with popular numbers like Bye Bye Blackbird and Take Five.
Speaking after her performance, Radha said people tend to believe that jazz as a genre is not much of a crowd-puller. But looking at the number gathered at B Flat showed how much the city appreciates and welcomes a good performance.
The band, UNK, comprises Mishko M'Ba on bass, Matt Littlewood on the saxophone, Aman Mahajan on the keyboards, Ramjee Chandran on the guitar and Amit Mirchandani on the drums, with Clay Kelton doing the film editing.