Amazon.com Widgets

Rez Abbasi: Things to Come (2009)

By Published: | 3,053 views
Rez Abbasi: Things to Come How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

It may be a new day in America but we're all still keenly interested in identity. This is a statement of sociopolitical reality, but it is also an observation of musical trend. In the liner notes for Things to Come, guitarist Rez Abbasi writes about recording music that "is neither jazz nor Indian; it has its own identity." In order to understand this statement, it is worth mentioning that Abbasi is an accomplished guitarist of Pakistani ancestry and his group made up of musicians of both South Asian descent (saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa
b.1971
sax, alto
and pianist Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer
b.1971
piano
) and American jazz musicians (bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss

drums
). However, there is little in their latest recording to suggest they were influenced by anyone other than the canonical jazz greats, which is a shame.

According to Abbasi, the title track was written on President Barack Obama's inauguration day, "an exciting day indeed!" The song seems less excited than hopeful, less patriotic than proud and empathetic, less played and more sung. Kiran Ahluwalia's voice embodies the hope the song means to convey.

The music is good but not great and the compositions show a lack of newness that could be forgiven had Abbasi and his band not already teased listeners with tracks like "Within Sanity," which does demonstrate a willingness to color outside the lines and be influenced by the world; there is a narrowness to the music that disappears when Abbasi becomes looser and allows Iyer and Ahluwalia to take the starring role and play.

Identity, real or perceived, is nothing to stay away from in a record and it might improve an already good album by an already accomplished musician.

Track Listing: Dream State; Air Traffic; Hard Colors; Things to Come; Why Me Why Them; Within Sanity; Realities of Chromaticism; Insulin.

Personnel: Rez Abbasi: guitars; Dan Weiss: drums; Johannes Weidenmueller: bass; Vijay Iyer: piano; Rudresh Mahanthappa: alto saxophone; Mike Block: cello (2, 7); Kiran Ahluwalia: Indian vocals (2-4, 6).

Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Style: Fringes of 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