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Rez Abbasi: A Throw Of Dice

Read "A Throw Of Dice" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

No matter what style of music Rez Abbasi tackles, he always makes it sound exciting, fresh and uniquely his own. The American guitarist and composer is known for his individual spin on jazz, which is as deeply rooted in western jazz doctrine as it is in traditions of his Pakistani heritage. Be it in the context of Indo-American fusion group Invocation—the outfit in which he plays alongside fellow like-minded contemporaries Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer—or in the wake of his ...

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Rez Abbasi: A Throw Of Dice

Read "A Throw Of Dice" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Rez Abbasi has written a score for a 1929 movie—not an everyday jazz endeavor, but that is what the guitarist/composer does with his thirteenth recording. This after-the-fact soundtrack composing, though rare, is not unprecedented. In 2015 guitarist Aram Bajakian wrote and self produced a recording--an unofficial soundtrack--to the 1969 Soviet film The Color Of Pomegranates, an exploration of the life of the Armenian poet, Sayat-Nova. Abbasi, for his inspiration, writes a score for the vintage black and white ...

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Rez Abbasi: Unfiltered Universe

Read "Unfiltered Universe" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Guitarist Rez Abbasi, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer share South Asian roots and have respectively incorporated many of the region's modalities and song-forms into the progressive jazz idiom at various points in time as solo artists or collaborators. Hence, the musicians coalesce for the third chapter of Abassi's Invocation group that merges South Asian music with ultra-modern jazz, often executed at warp speed amid supple time signatures and Herculean soloing activities. Largely built on tightly ...

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Rez Abbasi: Unfiltered Universe

Read "Unfiltered Universe" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Rez Abbasi was born in Karachi, Pakistan but at the age of four his family moved to Los Angeles and at eleven he started learning guitar. Whilst there are undoubtedly some South Asian influences in his compositions, these are generally incidental or to be found “under the radar" as Abbasi himself puts it. In any case the music surely transcends geographical boundaries. With a brace of ten albums to his name, this is Abbasi's follow-up to 2016's Behind The Vibration ...

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Rez Abbasi & Junction: Behind the Vibration

Read "Behind the Vibration" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

With a unique touch and distinct abilities, guitarist Rez Abbasi has produced some captivating recordings that have combined modern jazz and Pakistani/American in forward thinking projects like 2015's Intents and Purposes (Enja) with his Acoustic Quartet which put a fresh spin on popular 1970s jazz-rock compositions. Here he presents Junction, a new electric project of original music delivered by like-minded musicians with a lively plugged-in aesthetic--throbbing keyboards and funky yet tricky rhythms that lean heavily toward his early rock influences. ...

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Rez Abbasi Trio: Continuous Beat

Read "Continuous Beat" reviewed by John Kelman

In the 17 years since Rez Abbasi released Third Ear (Cathexis, 1995), the Pakistan-born, American-raised guitarist hasn't just covered a lot of ground, he's gone from an undoubtedly talented but somewhat vanilla player to one with a distinct voice and approach. Starting with Snake Charmer (Earth Sounds, 2005) and Bazaar (Zoho, 2006), Abbasi began to find his voice, in a meeting place between the linear nature of his eastern roots and the broader harmonies of his western studies.For ...

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Rez Abbasi Trio: Continuous Beat

Read "Continuous Beat" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Guitarist Rez Abbasi is one of the more prolific modern-era guitarists, calling New York City home but often adhering to his Pakistani roots through the looking-glass of jazz. Other than his impressive chops, he often amalgamates--to varying degrees--an Indo-jazz vibe into his solo outings and session gigs. However, on this plugged-in trio date, Abbasi instills a quasi, jazz-fusion vibe while adding minimal doses of distortion into the grand schema. With a formidable rhythm section supplying a loose but ...


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