Gamak, coming from the South Indian term for melodic ornamentation gamaka, signifies universal sense of how one can approach melody as both composer and improviser. The music put forth incorporates Western forms of jazz, progressive rock, heavy metal, country, American folk, go-go, and ambient while simultaneously engaging the rich traditions of Indian, Chinese, African, and Indonesian music. The end result is music that defies category, music that very much fits with the times in which we live.
Rudresh has regrouped with longtime partners and friends François Moutin and Dan Weiss with whom he has not recorded since the 2006 release codebook. As fellow members of Jack DeJohnette’s band, he’s been privileged to develop a wonderful musical relationship with the ever-inventive David Fiuczynski. Most of this music was written with him in mind and he breathes new life into the sound of Rudresh’s new quartet.
- Immediate download of Samdhi, available now on iTunes.
Samdhi MSG - Tasty! Apex Dual Identity Kinsmen Apti Codebook Raw Materials Mauger Mother Tongue Black Water Yatra
The Sanskrit word for twilight is "Samdhi," which now serves as the aptly-chosen title for saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa's latest ensemble, a fluid melding of jazz, electronic and Indian music. Like twilight's delicate balance of day and night, the album harmonizes brilliant illumination and mysterious shadows.
Personnel: Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto; David Gilmore, electric guitar; Rich Brown, electric bass; Damion Reid, drums; "Anand" Anantha Krishnan, mridangam & kanjira.
MSG - Tasty!
Providing the counterpoint to Mahanthappa are two outstanding European musicians. Drummer Chander Sardjoe is Indo-Dutch, and that duality has stimulated exhaustive study of both Western and South Indian traditions, creating a tour de force of colour and fluency in this rarified rhythmic environment. Irish bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, another well versed in the subtle complexities of Indian classical music, sounds very at home with his counterparts, and equally responsive to the universe of rhythmic possibility that opens up when this trio cuts loose.
Apex is a blazing collaboration between alto saxophonists Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green that puts on display a fifty-year continuum of state-of-the-art saxophone playing. Featuring the all-star band of Jason Moran on piano, Francois Moutin on bass and switching off on drums, the dynamic Damion Reid and the legendary Jack DeJohnette, Apex shines a much-deserved spotlight on Bunky Green, a hugely influential but under-recognized original in jazz.
Comes with bonus audio / video downloads!
This live recording is an important marker in Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman's shared history, and documents the work of two cutting-edge composer/performers who have made a commitment to learning from each other and to expanding the possibilities of what their music can be.
Kinsmen is Rudresh's collaboration with Kadri Gopalnath, a living legend of Indian music known as "The Emperor of the Saxophone," a true innovator in bringing the saxophone to Indian classical music. The music on this album, featuring their co-led Dakshina Ensemble, is exemplar of successful multicultural, transnational collaboration.
The bundle contains a CD copy of Kinsmen and an immediate download in a choice of lossless/high quality audio formats.
Synthesizing jazz with the astutely improvised musical forms of South Asia, the Indo-Pak Coalition transcends any preconception of Indo-jazz fusion. This trio with Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi and rising tabla star Dan Weiss has turning heads internationally in both the jazz and world music scenes.
The bundle contains a CD copy of Apti and an immediate download in a choice of lossless/high quality audio formats.
The music on Codebook stems from ideas and concepts related to cryptography. The varied systems provided the groundwork for Rudresh to approach the DNA of the compositions from fresh and previously unexplored angles. A standard could be transformed into an entirely fresh piece, a melody conceived by encoding words or phrases, and cyclic rhythms reorganized by way of a cipher.
The bundle contains a CD copy of Codebook and an immediate download in a choice of lossless audio formats.
Raw Materials fills a glaring space in Vijay Iyer and Mahanthappa's discography, as the two have performed together as a duo almost since their first meeting. The album is a fascinating look into their unique musical dialogue. Without drums or bass to cushion and propel, the duo's supreme empathy is laid completely bare. Rhythms and tempos flow organically, as if the two were a single being.
Mauger: The Beautiful Enabler
On The Beautiful Enabler, Mark Dresser (bass) and Gerry Hemingway (drums), two legends of creative music, joined forces with the younger Mahanthappa. This album is a fine example of empathy and group interaction, something only possible when the musicians involved are selflessly concerned with the musical results of the ensemble and not their own individual performances.
Mother Tongue is Rudresh's musical attempt to dispel the mistaken notion that India, with its multiple cultures, religions and hundreds of spoken languages and dialects, is one homogenous culture. In response to having been repeatedly asked: "Do you speak Indian?" or "Do you speak Hindu?" Rudresh has created compositions that are directly based on melodic transcriptions of various Indian-Americans' indignant responses in their native Indian tongues to these questions.
The bundle contains a CD copy of Mother Tongue and an immediate download in a choice of lossless/high quality audio formats.
On Black Water, Mahanthappa's forward-thinking vision was flawlessly captured by a stellar quartet that featured some of New York's finest young talent at the turn of the century. Foremost among the saxophonist's collaborators - and still one today - was the remarkable pianist Vijay Iyer, with whom Mr. Mahanthappa shares a unique artistic bond. Ben Ratliff described this relationship in the New York Times as: "a strong communicative link … that creates a charged, nearly tensile energy that the rest of the group can orient itself around."
The bundle contains a CD copy of Black Water and an immediate download in a choice of lossless/high quality audio formats.
Yatra is the debut album by Rudresh, recorded in 1994 while still in graduate school in Chicago. The album features Larry Kohut (bass), Jerry Steinhilber (drums), Jim Trompeter (piano), and Ryan Schultz (bass trumpet).