To be released on January 31, Standards Vol. 1 transforms cornerstone works by Duke Ellington, Ornette Coleman and more into immersive, otherworldly realms of sound that are uniquely Rafiq Bhatia. Working with a cast of traditional jazz’s most beloved musicians including the three-time GRAMMY-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, Bhatia implements dreamlike and sometimes volatile electronic techniques to recast classic repertoire as a window into the darkness underlying ordinary American life. Eschewing nostalgia or emulation, Standards Vol. 1 is a deeply personal and decidedly un-standard record that will have you thinking about the possibilities of jazz in an entirely new way.
This EP’s focus on songs a half-century old may surprise anyone already familiar with Bhatia, a musician whose embrace of sculpted noise and sound design is a far cry from the traditions of the American Songbook