220

Rez Abbasi: Things to Come

By

Sign in to view read count
Rez Abbasi: Things to Come It may be a new day in America but we're all still keenly interested in identity. This is a statement of sociopolitical reality, but it is also an observation of musical trend. In the liner notes for Things to Come, guitarist Rez Abbasi writes about recording music that "is neither jazz nor Indian; it has its own identity." In order to understand this statement, it is worth mentioning that Abbasi is an accomplished guitarist of Pakistani ancestry and his group made up of musicians of both South Asian descent (saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer) and American jazz musicians (bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss). However, there is little in their latest recording to suggest they were influenced by anyone other than the canonical jazz greats, which is a shame.

According to Abbasi, the title track was written on President Barack Obama's inauguration day, "an exciting day indeed!" The song seems less excited than hopeful, less patriotic than proud and empathetic, less played and more sung. Kiran Ahluwalia's voice embodies the hope the song means to convey.

The music is good but not great and the compositions show a lack of newness that could be forgiven had Abbasi and his band not already teased listeners with tracks like "Within Sanity," which does demonstrate a willingness to color outside the lines and be influenced by the world; there is a narrowness to the music that disappears when Abbasi becomes looser and allows Iyer and Ahluwalia to take the starring role and play.

Identity, real or perceived, is nothing to stay away from in a record and it might improve an already good album by an already accomplished musician.

Track Listing: Dream State; Air Traffic; Hard Colors; Things to Come; Why Me Why Them; Within Sanity; Realities of Chromaticism; Insulin.

Personnel: Rez Abbasi: guitars; Dan Weiss: drums; Johannes Weidenmueller: bass; Vijay Iyer: piano; Rudresh Mahanthappa: alto saxophone; Mike Block: cello (2, 7); Kiran Ahluwalia: Indian vocals (2-4, 6).

Title: Things To Come | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Astrometrics" CD/LP/Track Review Astrometrics
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Landed in Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Landed in Brooklyn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Is It Me...?" CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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