Manuel Hermia Quartet
modern jazz with Indian influence
This acoustic Belgian quartet explores the not very populated area between modern jazz and North-Indian ragas. Some compositions stick within the boundaries of jazz, while many show Indian influence, not only in structures, but also in the way the players improvise. “I wanted to approach modal and tonal music in a shared system. This led to a set of notes respecting both systems. We call the result rajazz”, Manuel Hermia says.
The band’s leader plays alto and soprano sax, and both western and Indian flutes. He has studied saxophone and jazz harmony at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles, and composed/played music for films and documentaries. Beside the quartet, he runs a trio that put out an album, Karmasutra, last year. The latest album by the quartet, which has toured Africa, India and the Far East, is Rajazz (2006). Hermia has also recorded with quintets, duos and solo, and collaborated with Fred Wesley, William Sheller, Denise Blue, Citizen Jane and Tony Kabeya, to name a few.