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Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa Team Up as Raw Materials on Savoy Jazz

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New Album set for May 2006

Santa Monica, CA--Savoy Jazz is proud to announce the debut CD release of RAW MATERIALS, a duo project featuring pianist Vijay Iyer and alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Long time musical co-conspirators, Iyer and Mahanthappa have created Raw Materials as a showcase for their strong creative connection. The sons of immigrants from India, they draw from Asian, African, and European traditions to create original music that is beyond category. The duo's intelligent melodies and harmonies reflect their common perspectives and contrasting dispositions. Already considered on the cutting edge of the jazz vanguard, Raw Materials is another step forward for two of the most promising new musical voices.

Raw Materials will be the second project for Vijay Iyer on Savoy Jazz. It follows Reimagining, one of the most acclaimed releases of 2005. The album landed in numerous year-end Top 10 lists nationally including the Village Voice, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, LA Weekly, Slate, Art Forum and many others. The Village Voice considered it “Iyer's best yet...legitimately new..." and the Chicago Tribune called Reimagining “Epic", naming Iyer “one of the most promising voices in jazz today."

Says Vijay: “Rudresh and I are both very pleased that our longstanding duo project is releasing its first album, after ten years of constant collaboration. In our joint work we have always sought to portray our own version of American identity within the jazz framework. So it's humbling and thrilling to be embraced by Savoy, with its incredible heritage of American music. It tells a compelling story about what it means to be American today."

Named a Rising Star of the alto saxophone by the 2003 and 2004 Downbeat International Critic's poll, Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative young musicians in jazz today. By incorporating the culture of his Indian ancestry, Rudresh has fused myriad influences to create a truly groundbreaking artistic vision. As a performer, he leads/co-leads five groups to critical acclaim.

Savoy Jazz is a unit of the Savoy Label Group (SLG). SLG is the North American unit of Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia), the oldest music company in Japan. Newly reorganized and now headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, Columbia Music Entertainment has re-emerged as a significant creative force with a stable of newly signed platinum-selling artists.

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