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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

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Charlie Parker has been deified, his methods have been codified, and his recordings have been analyzed ad infinitum. Six decades have passed since he left this realm, yet he remains the lodestar for a significant portion of the jazz community, from the aspiring to the elite, and his influence hasn't waned one bit. Given all of that, it's astonishing to realize that so few players have taken chances by looking beyond the songs, the music theory, the recordings, and the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

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In this innovative album, Rudresh Mahanthappa is to “Yardbird" Charlie Parker what Albert Einstein was to Isaac Newton. He revises Parker's legacy to his own advanced understanding, yet preserves the essential truth of Parker's contribution to jazz. One genius says “hello" to another and then goes his own way. The result is an exciting “leaning in" to Bird's bebop while retaining Mahanhtappa's unique synthesis of the jazz idiom with the music of India and other parts of the world. This ...

INTERVIEWS

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Integrity

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[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth] I had only met Rudresh Mahanthappa once briefly; we played with different bands at a gig at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. I was subbing with Miguel Zenon [while] he was performing with Vijay Iyer's quartet. I always found his playing to be super intense, which made me think that he might be a super intense personality. When we met years later at ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Buffalo, NY, January 27, 2013

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Rudresh MahanthappaAlbright Knox Art GalleryBuffalo, NYJanuary, 27 2013It is no secret that modern jazz musicians often draw upon multiple cultures when creating their art.In saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's case, he begins by meshing traditional music from India along with influences ranging from the Middle East to the East Village, from blues, progressive rock to funk and just about anything else you might care to name.The results are stunning in their sonic diversity, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Gamak

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Did saxophonist John Coltrane have any idea of the consequence of dipping his toes into the music of India in the 1960s? Not only did he introduce jazz to new harmonic structures, but he marshaled the forces of jazz, perhaps, to ingurgitate world music. While the repercussions of Coltrane's spiritual journey are still being felt, what of the ricochet from Indian culture?Answer: Rudresh Mahanthappa.The saxophonist (a second-generation Indian-American) speaks a form of pidgin Indo-jazz that is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Gamak

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Alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa continues to avoid stereotypes, whether pushing the envelope with his acoustic ensembles or including electronic colorations in 2011's Samdhi (ACT). With Gamak, his unique blend of progressive jazz and Indian music is still evolving. The added twist here is not only a reunion with the magnificent rhythm section of bassist Francois Moutin and tabla/drum guru Dan Weiss who performed on the saxophonist's Codebook (Pi, 2006), but also the addition of guitarist Dave “Fuze" Fiuczynski. whose own ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Samdhi

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Paralleling the recent world-music phenomena, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa has become a champion of Indo-Jazz applications. By integrating Indian classical ragas, Mahanthappa fuses a highly progressive jazz base into his undulating and, at times, mesmeric compositions. With touches of jazz-fusion, framed on sprawling improvisational forums, the artist's global approach reaps additional rewarding factors via his signature sound, often designed with scintillating 16th note solo runs. He aligns his technical acumen with a compositional prowess that embeds variability with an assertive line ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Samdhi

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About halfway through the aptly named “Killer," it becomes apparent that saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa's Samdhi is up to something just a little different. Amid the track's impossible changes and blistering tempo, the saxophonist's alto undergoes acoustic-electric alterations that are processed through a laptop. Not that it was ever needed, but this embracing of technology, and other influences, adds yet another dimension to his repertoire. Samdhi is the product of Mahanthappa's receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008, which ...



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