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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

19 November, 2004

Saskia Laroo - Female Miles Davis

Those of you who love Jazz, there is a wonderful time ahead.
Due to my writing a column at the world's busiest and oldest
jazz portal,, I have made some really
great musician friends... which was expected.

Saskia Laroo is one of the top-billed amongst this list. She is
a Dutch lady trumpeter who miraculously sounds like the great
and nearly-worshipped Miles Davis. Everyone interested in jazz
knows that Miles apart from John Coltrane [alto sax] has been the
most influential jazzman in the history -if we turn our attention
from Louis Armstron, Duke Ellington and other Biggies of the
Swing / Traditional styles and earlier eras.

Jehangir, my close friend [after whom the art gallery is named] is
an amateur trumpeter and he startled me one day by saying that
the same trumpet will sound different in different hands... which
means, Saskia has mastered an impossible art. To be able to sound
like the demi-God Miles Davis is no joke. Scientifically the list of
variables is endless.

Saskia, basically an email friend for years but very close to me,
has agreed to perform at Pune on 29th Nov. 2004, around 9.00 pm
at the Jazz Garden in the ABC Farms complex, Koregaon Park just
a KM from the Osho Ashram. She will play with her quartet and
will bring the roof down, no doubt.

For those who are forever stuck in Mumbai as ninety nine percent
of Mubaikars are, there is a saving grace. Saskia is also going to
play at the Jazz Yatra from 26th to 28th Nov. You would have to
ask me for the exact details, if you plan to go and see her and listen
to her dark arts.... Life could change for you.
The venue is Bhabha Auditorium at the TIFR, Colaba.

She is an amazing person, having mastered 21 different instruments
she has finally chosen trumpet, rarely used by ladies, as her own
instrument. Give it a listen, jazzheads and music buffs and the very
choosy amongst the aficionados of good music !

cheers !


Blogger Geetanjali said...

:-) You know I first found out about you through your coloumn. I had to do a project on the music scene in Pune for Alliance Francaise and while hunting for stuff on the Pune Jazz Club, I stumbled on your article on when I read your name in the list of contributors, I was like "OK I recognise atleast one name!" - don't think I've told you this! In the last one month or so, I'm seeing the world shrink before my eyes. It's never seemed like a small place before this...but now...
I shall spread the msg abt the concert!

19 November, 2004 10:30  
Blogger Anil said...

Interesting tip Max. I'm one of those who doesn't know much abt Jazz...having never gone beyond the basics...should do something about that! One query though,silly as it might sound...has Saskia Laroo released any of her music on CD?

19 November, 2004 19:20  
Blogger manisha lakhe said...

'modern' miles davis
miles davis 'reborn'
'a la' miles davis
'reminds you of' miles davis
'for those who love' miles davis
'close your eyes and hear' miles davis

oh max, music is genderless...

19 November, 2004 23:09  
Blogger Max Babi said...

I started writing about Jazz
some years ago because I was
overwhelmed by youngsters who
wanted to quickly develop a good
taste in Jazz.
Read some of my articles to get a feel...

Many feminists have attacked me on this
account, but I have discussed this in
details with trumpeters who say that a
male and a female can naturally produce
a different tone from the same trumpet.
The tone is certainly not genderless.
It's like wine-tasting, for the laity,
the whole rigmarole is one big hoax.
Or abstract paintings.


20 November, 2004 02:35  
Blogger zigzackly said...

i agree with Manisha there, Max. It does come across as faintly patronising, in an old-fashioned, gentlemanly way. i'm no jazz connoisseur, just a fan, but i do understand that lung size makes a difference when it comes to wind instruments - in which, in my layperson's way, i include the voice - but in that case, you could have explained your reasons for classifying her the way you did. (To digress: here could be an interesting post in the history of the Castrati, don't you think?)

Thanks for the info, though. i hadn't a clue that the Yatra was around the corner. Though it just won't be the same without Rang Bhavan. Do mail me what details you have.

20 November, 2004 19:18  
Blogger raindanseuse said...

Max, with you here, could jazz be too far away! I'm not a Miles Davis fan myself - you know that. But I'm interested in watching a female trumpeteer articulate. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Jasmine doing her thing at the PJC anniversary. She's pretty good with the music and she looks good playing the sax. Its probably one more push I need to seriously think about picking up percussion.

21 November, 2004 00:28  
Blogger Max Babi said...

Hey Peter,

Jazz Yatra starts on 26th and ends on 28th,
and is scheduled to be held at NCPA,Colaba.
Rang Bhavan is pre-history, it may never
revert to that wonderful ambience.
I am attending JY on 27th just to meet Saskia.
Yessir you hit the nail on the head, when you
tell me abt old-age chivalry and things that
may be almost anti-feminist by now. Who cares?
Not me.
I react like a male, not pretending to be a
pinker variation of metrosexual. Saskia is the
first female trumpeter I will be seeing....


Sonia :
Sax is still a graceful instrument for the
females, Trumpet is a harsh, masculine, bugle like
in construction and playing... all the best to take
up percussion : you can think of that stingy boss
and beat the hell out of the drums as a sort of
transposed aggression.

Good luck !


22 November, 2004 00:23  

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