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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 our first rehearsal with Jack Dejohnette, I was glad to find out that Mahanthappa is actually very down to earth, ...

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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, striding across genres with a clearly focused intensity that astonishes and unnerves in equal measure. Gamak is a ferociously talented ...

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 derived from a need to communicate across two cultures by finding a common language. Unlike Coltrane, Mahanthappa's Brooklyn/Indian accent heard ...

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 body of work is no stranger to the exotic. Mahanthappa's thirteenth recording is chock-full of ideas both ...

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 of fireMahanthappa's creative force and unbridled vigor comes to the limelight during “Killer." Here, the artist surges forward ...

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 allowed him to explore the fusion of electronic music, ancestral Indian music and jazz. It spawned a new group with ...

INTERVIEWS

Rudresh Mahanthappa: Hybrid Energy

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Rudresh Mahanthappa is a man on a mission. He's driven to integrate the saxophone into a vast panorama of settings far beyond its typical range. His output is often reflective of his Indian-American heritage, with an engaging hybrid approach that merges avant-jazz and South Asian elements. His current quartet, also consisting of microtonal guitarist David Fiuczynski, bassist François Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss, is emblematic of that direction. In addition to his own band, Mahanthappa leads or co-leads several other groups that push the boundaries of jazz. For almost two decades, he's worked with pianist Vijay Iyer and ...



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