All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

202

Rez Abbasi: Snake Charmer

Sean Patrick Fitzell By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Rez Abbasi: Snake Charmer With Snake Charmer, his fourth CD as a leader, guitarist Rez Abbasi overtly draws on his Indian subcontinent heritage. Beneath this conspicuous exterior is a rhythmically charged guitar-organ-drum trio. This was palpable within minutes at the group's CD release party at Joe's Pub, when Abbasi, along with organist Gary Versace, and drummer Danny Weiss, locked into the quick, sinewy movement of the title track. Their tight interplay is the foundation for the music and provides solid support for their guests.

On "Pearl," Dave Liebman's soprano sax acts as the conjurer, its taut, serpentine lines winding around the atmospheric movement of Abbasi's sitar-guitar and Kiran Ahluwalia's enchanting voice. In concert, she was a mesmerizing study in control and injected an appropriate spirituality to this composition dedicated to slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Ahluwalia paired with the burbling tabla of Naren Budhaker on "Motherland" to support Abbasi's patient solo and evoke the exotic.

The trio displays its acumen when it mines churning, up-tempo tunes with recurring unison rhythmic patterns, such as "Tantra" and "Blood Orange." In the former, Abbasi takes a cleanly phrased turn featuring fleet single-note runs, while Weiss modulates the beat with sparse, well-placed fills. Liebman punctuates the quiet dynamics and patient proceedings of "Rumi," matching lines with Abbasi for tonal contrast. A duet for Abbasi's acoustic guitar and Ahluwalia's traditional singing on "Thanks for Nothingness" offers a calming conclusion. Though Abbasi and his cohorts flirt with the edge, they reign themselves in to ensure that the improvisations never subvert the melody or groove. The result is a lively take on the marriage of Indo and western influences.


Track Listing: 1. Snake Charmer; 2. Pearl; 3. Tantra; 4. Motherland; 5. Kismet; 6. Rumi; 7. Blood Orange; 8. Thanks For Nothingness.

Personnel: Rez Abbasi: guitars, sitar-guitar, percussion; Gary Versace: organ; Danny Weiss: drums, tabla; Kiran Ahluwalia: Indian vocals, tanpura; Dave Liebman: soprano saxophone.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Earth Sounds | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Behind the Vibration
Behind the Vibration
Cuneiform Records
2016
buy
Intents and Purposes
Intents and Purposes
Enja Records
2015
buy
Continuous Beat
Continuous Beat
Enja Records
2013
buy
Continuous Beat
Continuous Beat
Enja Records
2012
buy
Suno Suno
Suno Suno
Enja Records
2011
buy
Natural Selection
Natural Selection
Sunnyside Records
2010
buy

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.