The Goa Marriott resort's chilled out lounge bar AZ UR seems to be the first off the block to usher in the new season with some world class international artistes being featured almost every Friday as guest performers with the house band Jazz Junction. The band features some of the most accomplished jazz musicians in the country, quite capable of backing any of the international jazz artistes that have now become a regular feature ever since they began playing here in July this year.
The most recent guest was New Zealand's living jazz legend singer Malcolm Mc'Neil who has over fifty years of performance all over the world behind him. He first visited India in 1998 to perform with his big band at the Jazz Yatra in Mumbai and Delhi. This was his first visit to Goa and definitley not his last as he announced to an enthralled audience, totally captivated with the veteran's amazing vocal gymnastics, that seemed to be continously enhanced by Jazz Junction's tight rhythm section made up of Xavier Peres on keyboards, Colin D'Cruz on fretless bass and Lester Godinho on drums. Malcolm was thrilled with some of the spontaneous improvisations taking place around him that egged him on to produce some brilliant scat solos. The session went on for a full two hours turning the lounge bar into an absolutely world class jazz lounge right through the evening.