Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

INTERVIEW

Rez Abbasi: On balancing picture with music and shifting into Django mode

Read "Rez Abbasi: On balancing picture with music and shifting into Django mode" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

To really distinguish oneself in today's vast universe of guitarists, even within the confines of jazz, more and more resembles a Sisyphus task. When so much has been said and done, a specific tone or distinctive vocabulary alone no longer suffice to set an artist apart from the crowd. It is only through the sum of the different parts—various technical, aesthetic and even philosophical ones—that a musician is able to claim a place among the original voices on the instrument. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rez Abbasi: Django-shift

Read "Django-shift" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Talking about shifting. American guitarist Rez Abbasi seems capable of shifting shape and changing form from one project to the next like a creature from a J.R.R. Tolkien adventure—almost beyond recognition. If it weren't for the guitarist's inspired fret fingerings and rushed scale runs giving him his utterly unique spark. Between much praised quintet recording Unfiltered Universe (Whirlwind Recordings, 2017) and the Indian-infused collaboration Indo-Pak Coalition comprised of himself, Dan Weiss and Rudresh Mahanthappa releasing Agrima (Self Produced, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rez Abbasi: Django-shift

Read "Django-shift" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Django Reinhardt's music is so ubiquitous that it's easy to forget his career was relatively brief. The gypsy guitarist/composer had recorded hundreds of 78s and acetates before he died of a stroke in 1953 at age forty-three. On many early sides, he played a six-string banjo-guitar hybrid tuned in the standard tuning of a guitar. Norman Granz produced the only full LP Reinhardt session two months before the artist passed. Along with over twenty posthumous compilation releases, Nuages (Verve, 1953) ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Isabelle Olivier / Rez Abassi: OASIS

Read "OASIS" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The combination of acoustic guitar and harp is seldom heard in jazz and improvisational circles but it is explored here in exciting fashion by harpist Isabelle Olivier and guitarist Rez Abbasi. Accompanied by Prabhu Edouard on tabla and David Paycha on drums, they bring their instruments' sounds together in a variety of musical textures ranging from intense to contemplative. The guitar and harp shimmer delicately together on “Cherry Blossom" and swoop and dive with swagger on their version ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rez Abbasi: OASIS

Read "OASIS" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Guitarist Rez Abbasi and harpist Isabelle Olivier's OASIS (an acronym for Olivier Abbasi Sound In Sound) is embodiment of fusion. Not the variety you may recognize as jazz-rock fusion, more like fusion cooking, for example Korean-Mexican or sushi-pizza. Okay, not sushi-pizza, but you get the idea. Olivier and Abbasi are pulling together jazz, Indian-Pakistani, and European classical music without compromising the character of each. Abbasi, a Pakistani-American is better known than his French partner (who lives part time ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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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