Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
110

Rajesh Mehta Solos and Duos Featuring Paul Lovens: Orka

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Rajesh Mehta was born in India, grew up in the United States, and lived in Holland. He aims to do - or help do - for the trumpet what Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and Evan Parker have done for the saxophone. He does it on Orka by eschewing the usual standards of trumpet virtuosity and fashioning a new language and lexicon for the instrument. He also takes up the long-forgotten bass trumpet, and plays a "hybrid trumpet" of his own fashioning that involves two (or more) trumpets are joined together by a tube. He's joined on nine of the twelve tracks by percussion master Paul Lovens, who has distinguished himself in a trio with pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and Parker.

Even when he is recognizably playing a trumpet, Mehta doesn't sound much like Brownie or Miles, although the call-and-response figure of "Orka," the meditative "Difftones," and the discursive "Orka Pook" are played with a pinched (muted?) tone reminiscent of the Prince of Darkness. "Tu-Vas" is a sustained, mictrotonally shifting growl; on "Leslie's Plumbing" he utters some percussive cries before settling into a sustained phrase of considerable eloquence. "Vindaloo" is more furious, with Mehta making considerable use of the percussive and other sonic possibilities of mouthpiece manipulation, producing a hiss that has been previously deployed by Joe McPhee on his trumpet and cornet excursions. (He does this on "Styro Gyro" as well.)

On "Partched" and "LampiGong" he manages to produce and sustain a flute-like whistle; "Rent-A-Bird" goes this one better, with the actual cadences and rhythms of birdcalls. "The Chase" is a reverberating figure, probably on bass trumpet, for Mehta sounds a bit like Roswell Rudd does on trombone. "Not Yet" is a fascinating trombonish call with a doubled effect, no doubt created by the tube.

Orka is an audacious, successful disc. There is a great deal of fascinating music here, and an inventive trumpeter of considerable promise.

| Record Label: Hat Hut Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
Reconfigurations
between the lines
2000
buy
[no cover]
Innovative Music...
between the lines
2000
buy
[no cover]
A Day In Benedict
between the lines
1997
buy
Don Cherry Don Cherry
trumpet
Evan Parker Evan Parker
sax, tenor
Paul Bley Paul Bley
piano
Tim Berne Tim Berne
saxophone
Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic
Bud Shank Bud Shank
saxophone
Oliver Lake Oliver Lake
saxophone
Mat Maneri Mat Maneri
viola
Fred Frith Fred Frith
guitar
Marc Ducret Marc Ducret
guitar

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.