• rez abbasi Unfiltered Universe (CD, £11.50)

    Completing a trilogy of albums whose compositions are infused with the various, colourful strands of traditional music from his Pakistani/Indian homeland, New York guitarist Rez Abbasi’s ‘Unfiltered Universe’ presents the stunning line-up of pianist Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss, plus guest appearances from renowned classical cellist Elizabeth Mikhael. Previous releases ‘Things to Come’ and ‘Suno Suno’ focused, respectively, on Hindustani and Qawwali music, whereas this collection of seven new numbers explores and embraces the more rhythmically exuberant, South Asian elements of Carnatic instrumental music. Originally hailing from Karachi - and creating fresh, contemporary sounds here with players who themselves are all well-versed in north and south Indian music - Abbasi sees his subconscious responses as an equally important source of inspiration alongside the imprint of his treasured, cultural heritage Abbasi’s complex meters are often based on underlying, architectural structures of expansion and compression which, in propulsive, shifting “Thin-king”, give rise to its beautifully searching melody; and enigmatic, tumbling “Turn of Events” finds an exciting, flowing synergy between cello, guitar and sax. Other songs include the carefully-crafted “Propensity”, which features a bassline which moves by an eighth note, almost undetected, through multi-time-signatured sections. Personnel: Rez Abbasi (guitar), Vijay Iyer (piano), Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto saxophone), Johannes Weidenmueller (double bass), Dan Weiss (drums) Guest: Elizabeth Mikhael (cello). Tracks: Propensity / Unfiltered Universe / Thoughts / Thin-King / Turn Of Events / Disagree To Agree / Dance Number


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