427

Ahmad Mansour: Free Speech

Mark F. Turner 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

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

All Figured Out
Derek Brown
Taftalidze Shuffle
Vlatko Stefanovski
Entendre
Nik Bartsch

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.