Reviews that mention Rez Abbasi

October 7, 2021

Min Xiao-Fen

White Lotus
Outside in Music OIM 2120

This is what so-called World Music should sound like. Rather than singing in a non-English language over recycled pop beats, Chinese American Min Xiao-Fen, an Asian lutes specialist has created an original score for The Goddess, a 1934 Chinese silent film classic. Investing with emotional resonance, this story of a self-sacrificing Shanghai woman who is imprisoned after trying to balance roles as streetwalker and devoted mother Xiao-Fen stretches the contours of her voice and diverse textures from four lute variants. At the same time while adapting Asian musical currents, the soundtrack is anything but Sino-traditional. That’s because the pipa stylist, who has worked with the likes of Leroy Jenkins and John Zorn, is partnered by Pakistani-American Rez Abbasi, a guitarist, whose Jazz background includes playing with Rudresh Mahanthappa and D. D. Jackson. MORE

May 12, 2015

Rez Abbasi Acoutic Quartet

Intents and Purposes
Enja Records ENJ-952-2

Neelamjit Dhillon Quartet

Komagata Maru

No Label No #

Rudresh Mahanthappa

Bird Calls

ACT 9581-2

Louis Moholo-Moholo Unit

For The Blue Notes

Ogun Records OGCD 042

Something In The Air: Varying Definitions of Ethnic-oriented Improvised Music

By Ken Waxman

When it comes to welcoming immigrants to North America, Canada and the United States have long had different policies. To Americans the ideal is the melting pot with all foreigners persuaded to become true-blue Yanks. Modern Canada, once it shook off fealty to Britain, has long promoted multi-culturalism, where immigrants become Canadians without giving up their homeland identity. Generalities should be avoided, but it’s informative to see these concepts played out in improvised music. Thus Neelamjit Dhillon, born in Vancouver of Sikh background, has created a notable CD based on the infamous 1914 incident when 376 mostly Sikh immigrants were refused entry to Canada. To do so he mixes traditional Indian instruments with Western ones. In contrast American performers, who are his contemporaries, and with similar immigrant roots, have recorded sessions exclusively linked to the un-hyphenated jazz continuum. MORE

April 12, 2015

Ananda Gari

Auand Records AU 9041

Tineke Postma

Sonic Halo

Challenge Records CR 73370

Ben Goldberg

Orphic Machine

BAG Productions BAG 007

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York


Libra Records 215-036

SITA: Cutting-Edge Free Improvisation at The Music Gallery

By Ken Waxman

Major improvisers from elsewhere frequently play Toronto, but not as often do they appear with an all-star line-up. That’s what happens on April 29 when alto saxophonist Tim Berne’s Snakeoil is in concert at The Music Gallery. Berne, who has been on the cutting edge of advanced jazz for 30-odd years, arrives with three younger players who have distinguished themselves on the New York scene: fellow reedist Oscar Noriega, pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Ches Smith. This being the 21th Century and past the age of consistently working groups, each – including Berne – is involved in many other projects. MORE

December 10, 2012

Dave Phillips & Freedance

Innova 837

By Ken Waxman

There’s good and bad news about Confluence, the fourth CD by bassist Dave Phillips and his Freedance ensemble. The good news is that after two decades of playing together the band has evolved a distinctive sound that presents the combo to its best advantage, even when, as on this CD, it’s expanded by adding two additional musicians. The bad news is that this formula varies little from track to track, making the disc sound like eight variations on a single theme. MORE