Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Ahmad Mansour: Free Speech

427

Ahmad Mansour: Free Speech

By

Sign in to view read count
Ahmad Mansour: Free Speech
Iranian-American Ahmad Mansour has been stirring things as a modern jazz guitarist bent towards the edgier side. With heavy does of rock, jam-band and an attitude that shakes it all up, Free Speech is an introduction to his music in a live setting.

Recorded in Europe in 2006, the recording finds Mansour in a power trio with longtime associates, bassist Stomu Takeishi and drummer Ted Poor, both dynamic musicians who have recorded with jazz artists including trumpeter Cuong Vu's Vu-Tet, ArtistShare (2008) group.

The Mansour gig finds the trio bringing the crowd some free-spirited progressive rock, opening with the title track, which includes a funky vamp that builds in intensity. They take their time and work the groove, Mansour interjecting funky riffs, and subtle sound effects, later escalating into some freeform jamming and a psychedelic crescendo.

Mansour shows his tasty fret-board abilities—bringing to mind guitar wiz Mark Knopfler of 1970s British rock group, Dire Straits—with clean, nimble, and lightning quick licks that are most prominent on "Modulator, as the guitarist solos fluently with tinges of Jimi Hendrix and country-billy rock.

One criticism is that Takeishi and Poor aren't given more isolated solo time. But all might be forgiven when listening to the piece de resistance, "Nebula, where Takeishi lays down a sweet/funky bass loop that allows Mansour and Poor to stretch out with their own creative ideas. Things slow down on the mellifluous "Rule and Divide and close with the hard-hitting "Out on a Limb as Mansour's Strat grinds, Takeishi's fretless bass thumps and Poor provides the nasty back-beat. Who says jazz musicians can't rock? Apparently, Ahmad Mansour didn't get that memo.

Track Listing

Free Speech; Happenstance; Modulator; Nebula; Rule and Divide; Out on a Limb.

Personnel

Ahmad Mansour: guitar; Stomu Takeishi: 5 string electric fretless bass, loops; Ted Poor: drums.

Album information

Title: Free Speech | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ESC Records

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Eagle's Point
Chris Potter
Can You Hear It?
Mikko Innanen / Cedric Piromalli / Stefan Pasborg
Elegy for Thelonious
Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.