On Thursday night (January 6th) I went to the 55 Bar to hear Dan Weiss, my friend (and drummer for 4inObjects, the collective band we’re in) perform classical North Indian tabla compositions which he arranged for drum set. It was soooooo unbelieveable! It was more than 60 minutes of non-stop playing and each composition Dan performed became more intense as he played. The bar was packed! Some people were sitting on the floor and more than half of the audience were some of the heaviest musicians in the New York City jazz scene. Even more pop/public stars were in attendance (e.g. Norah Jones).
The thing that blew me away besides the phenomenal drumming was that Dan recited everything verbally before he performed it. This is the Indian tradition. When you start to learn Indian music you learn to sing it first before you even touch another instrument. His close friend and great guitarist Miles Okazaki played the lehara, a repeating melody. That job was not an easy one. Even though Miles was playing the same melody throughtout the whole performance (non-stop), the concentration it took to keep good time and not lose focus was outstanding.
What was wonderful about this performance was that alot of the audience members may not have known about his studies of Indian music. But now that he has performed this music on the drum set, I believe that he has brought his two musical worlds together and I think more people will definitely check him out in both musical situations. His dedication, focus and love for the music is inspiring to all artists.