2 For The Road
Radha Thomas: voice | Aman Mahajan: piano
If you’re a Bangalore jazz lover there’s little chance you’ve not heard of Radha Thomas and Aman Mahajan. They perform regularly with their band UNK. But a well-kept secret is their delicate and nuanced duo '2 For The Road', where Mahajan and Thomas seem to flow in and out of each others souls seamlessly, him on the piano and she with her voice.
Their music is original and yet familiar. Strains of jazz intertwine with a hint of Indian music and some solid improvisation to provide the audience a technically complex, intricate and fulfilling experience for the non-casual listener.
Thomas is a writer as well, and focuses a lot on the lyrics which are quirky (Rendu Dosai features several dozen dosais, some of which you may have never heard of) and sometimes poignant, like the song Load Shedding, which is a Mahajan composition. Mahajan wrote the tune after experiencing repeated power power cuts in his Cooke Town home and Thomas seized on the opportunity to have a little wry fun.
Vocalese is a new addition to their repertoire. It is a specific jazz vocal style that originated alongside hard bop in the 50s in America. Singers like Jon Hendricks, Eddie Jefferson and King Pleasure took to writing words to the solos of famous horn players like Coleman Hawkins, Wardell Gray, James Moody and even Miles Davis. Thomas has taken the solos of Chet Baker as he performed famous jazz standards and she has written lyrics to them so the songs now have a different sparkle.
13.04.2019 // The Blue Room, Bangalore, India
24.07.2015 // Dimitrie Ghica Park, Sinaia, Romania
23.07.2015 // King’s Valley Hall, Mara Hotel, Sinaia, Romania
“Excuse Bangalore artistes Radha Thomas and Aman Mahajan if they seem a little hurried while performing at Take 5 in Indiranagar on April 25. The duo that comprises musical outfit '2 For The Road' will be rushing to The Piano Man in Delhi on May 10, and then boarding a flight to Romania. They will be representing India at EUROPAFest in Bucharest, a prestigious global music festival.” —Khushali Madhwani | Bangalore Mirror
“Famous vocalist Radha Thomas and—Berklee-educated pianist, composer and arranger—Aman Mahajan will fly the Bangalore flag at the EUROPA Fest in Bucharest, Romania. The prestigious 2-week festival (08 May through 24 May this year) comprises performances by over 300 artists from 45 different locations. Thomas and Mahajan are the only featured artists from India.” —Jazz Hack | Bangalore Mag