Amazon.com Widgets

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Mother Tongue (2004)

By Published: | 4,786 views
Rudresh Mahanthappa: Mother Tongue No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The latest album by India-born saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa explores the connection between language and music, ancestry and contemporary American life. Continually asked by Americans, "Do you speak Indian?" or "Do you speak Hindu?", Mahanthappa has answered by basing the recording on the sounds of speech. With a population of one billion people and numerous ethnic groups, India has 22 official languages. The saxophonist had Indian-American friends leave answers to the questions on his voice mail in their language. He then melodically transcribed them. Seven of the tunes are based on these responses.

Fans of the dissonant playing styles of Ornette Coleman and Greg Osby will most appreciate this unique recording. Like the legendary Coleman, Mahanthappa wails on these ten compositions that seldom let up. For jazz fans, the most accessible tunes are the sheets of sound Coltrane-like "The Preserver" and "English," with its slightly funky pulse. Although the seven languages are dissimilar, the saxophonist's sound on most songs is comparable, the difference being the rhythm and tone of each. The languid "Kannada" and "Tamil" offer an oasis of repose in tunes that otherwise blaze with fire.

This is dense, complex, and challenging music. When heard all in one sitting, the senses can easily go into overload mode. Mother Tongue is best appreciated one song at a time. In that sense, the parts are better than the whole.

Track Listing: The Preserver; English; Kannada; Gujarati; Telugu; Circus; Konkani; Tamil; Malayalam; Change of Perspective

Personnel: Rudresh Mahanthappa- alto sax; Vijay Iyer- piano; Francois Moutin- bass; Elliot Humberto Kavee- drums

Record Label: Pi Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search