French jazz band OZMA on the evolution of classical jazz with electronic music
OZMA can never tire of India as the band is always looking for a new musical adventure because it has always been amazing for them to look for new sounds. After their second time in 2012, they collaborated with an Indian Carnatic band from Ahmedabad, called Darpana, to tour in France. Being a quintet, the five-member band derived its name from a NASA project called OZMA, which was the ancestor of SETI. “The project sent sound into space, through various signals, looking for extra-terrestrial life hoping for a response, and we immediately took a liking to the idea of sending music into space,” founding member and drummer Stéphane Scharlé tells us.
The band first met in the Conservatory of Music in Strasbourg before they formed in 2001, and were always interested in improvised jazz over classical jazz, concentrating on swing and standards. Growing up in the 80s gave them an introduction to all kinds of music and while jazz was always an influence, there were also many others. Stéphane adds, “For me, for instance, there was classical jazz but then there was also rock music from Woodstock, which had such a strong influence and then I was also listening to a lot of hip-hop music.” He adds that while the guitar has its own effects, even the trombone has many effects that add a lot to their music with the help of the keyboard. Their sixth album, Welcome Home, which released in the end of 2016, is also a tribute to their fifth bandmate and trombone player, who had left the group briefly for five years, which is when they became a quartet. The current line-up of the band after the reunion has Édouard Séro-Guillaume on the bass, Julien Soro on the saxophone, Guillaume Nuss on the trombone and Tam de Villiers on the guitar