In 1992, the BBC sent a team to Mumbai to explore the contemporary jazz scene with electric violin virtuoso L. Shankar.
Jazz has its origins in the American south, and as musicians and their recordings made their way into new cultures around the world, it was infused into global musical traditions. This episode from the BBC show Rhythms Of The World was filmed in 1992 and explores specifically how jazz presented itself in India. In this episode titled “Bombay And All That Jazz,” we get a special insight into the philosophies of musicians who pushed the boundaries of the genre, including renowned double violinist L. Shankar. Shankar invited American jazz artist Don Cherry to play in India’s most prosperous city that year, and in the film, Cherry explores his long-standing connection to Indian Music.
The sound of taxis and the millions of feet walking the city, along with the other sounds of metropolis, flows in an organic rhythm that has inspired many musicians, and this is especially true in Mumbai. Music has no borders, it’s true, and there is something uniquely interesting about this particular intersection of time and space. All of this is encapsulated in this entrancing documentary and its brilliant performances, including one by another great American Jazz artist influenced by Indian culture, Alice Coltrane.