It is certainly an interesting period in the history of the United States. The election of the first African American president has provided impetus for the country to reexamine the nature of the country, a nation built on the mixture of people of many cultural backgrounds. Guitarist/ composer Rez Abbasi has been inspired more and more by this phenomenon over the last few years and his new recording Things To Come blends musical elements of his South Asian heritage with those of progressive jazz. Jazz itself has always been open to diverse musical influences.
The Pakistani-American Abbasi is involved with an increasingly influential group of musicians of South Asian descent, most notably pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, both of whom appear on Things To Come. The recording incorporates instrumentation typical of the jazz idiom with compositional ideas that are more akin to South Asian musical practice, particularly complicated meter shifts and advanced harmonic concepts. The addition of Indian classical vocalist Kiran Ahluwalia to the ensemble on a number of pieces adds a unique beauty to this inspiring new recording.
released August 25, 2009
Rez Abbasi - guitar
Rudresh Mahanthappa - alto saxophone
Vijay Iyer - piano
Johannes Weidenmeuller - acoustic bass
Dan Weiss - drums
Kiran Ahluwalia - vocals
Mike Block - cello