RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA

Avant-Garde Jazz / World Fusion • Italy
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Rudresh Mahanthappa(Kannada:ರುದ್ರೇಶ್ ಮಹಂತಪ್ಪ ) (b. May 4, 1971) is a New York-based jazz alto saxophonist and composer. Mahanthappa was born in Trieste, Italy, and grew up in Boulder, Colorado. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1992 and received his Master of Fine Arts degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University in 1998. During his time at Berklee, he was introduced to the music of Indian saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, whose use of a Western instrument in the context of Carnatic music surprised and inspired Mahanthappa. He would later travel to India on a grant to work with Gopalnath; the two played together in concert between 2005 and 2008, and collaborated on the album Kinsmen (2008), which fuses Western and Indian approaches to improvisation. Mahanthappa has frequently been listed in Down Beat's Critics Poll since 2003, and was named both "#1 Rising Star Jazz Artist" and "#1 Rising Star Alto read more...
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KinsmenKinsmen
PI RECORDINGS 2017
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$3.00 (used)
Bird CallsBird Calls
Act Music + Vision 2015
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Bird CallsBird Calls
Act Music + Vision 2015
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$27.00 (used)
GamakGamak
Act Music + Vision 2013
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CodebookCodebook
PI RECORDINGS 2017
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SamdhiSamdhi
Act Music + Vision 2011
$14.84
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Mother TongueMother Tongue
PI RECORDINGS 2017
$14.00
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Dual IdentityDual Identity
Clean Feed 2011
$14.89
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RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Discography

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA albums / top albums

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Yatra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Yatra
Avant-Garde Jazz 1996
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Black Water album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Water
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Mother Tongue album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Mother Tongue
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Codebook album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Codebook
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition ‎: Apti album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition ‎: Apti
World Fusion 2008
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Rudresh Mahanthappa Featuring Kadri Gopalnath & The Dakshina Ensemble ‎: Kinsmen album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Rudresh Mahanthappa Featuring Kadri Gopalnath & The Dakshina Ensemble ‎: Kinsmen
World Fusion 2008
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Apex album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Apex
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA MSG : Tasty album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
MSG : Tasty
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Samdhi album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Samdhi
World Fusion 2011
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Gamak album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Gamak
World Fusion 2013
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Bird Calls album cover 3.98 | 2 ratings
Bird Calls
World Fusion 2015
RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition : Agrima album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition : Agrima
World Fusion 2017

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA EPs & splits

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA live albums

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Dual Identity album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Dual Identity
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010

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RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Reviews

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Bird Calls

Album · 2015 · World Fusion
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snobb
Italy-born US-based sax player Rudresh Mahanthappa third album in row on German ACT label is in many senses a return to his roots. First of all, all album is dedicated to Charlie Parker (who Rudresh counts as his main influence from early age). Second, after two ACT released strongly Asian music influenced albums, "Bird Calls" is much closer to Rudresh early freer and more jazzy works. Even bassist Francois Moutin, who started collaboration with Mahanthappa as far as on his second album in 2002, is presented here.

Three other members of new quintet are pianist Matt Mitchell, drummer Rudy Royston and third generation jazz musician trumpeter Adam O'Farrill(both his grandfather and father are well-known Afro-Cuban jazz artists).

Nothing on this album comes directly from Parker's legacy - all compositions are Mahanthappa originals. Even by its sound they recall more Ornette Coleman that Charlie Parker. There is no mistake in album's dedication though - Rudresh uses Parker's tunes and ideas deconstructing them and adding as micro-scoping elements (together with his Indian heritage elements) in absolutely new music.

The result is new, fresh and modern sounding. Rudresh saxophone playing techniques are fast and pedantically precise,as his sound is. Those familiar with his earlier (mostly US-recorded) music will find here his characteristic attention to details and internal structure against catchy tunes (two previous ACT albums were more tuneful and soulful in contrast); still one can't call this music tuneless. Just combined of myriads of small elements musical mosaic is similar to kaleidoscope where each moment's view is much more impressive than final impression after all pictures series.

As always with Mahanthappa's music, it is full of muscular energy and even is his sax is on the front there are lot of space for all band's members.Still, he's obvious leader here. Probably main attraction of this release comes from unique fragile balance between jazz tradition,Indian music elements and modern arrangement when all three components are presented in equal proportions.As a result listener can really enjoy synthesis of rich components without domination or confrontation between them.

It's more a question of taste but I really enjoyed this new Rudresh album more than the music from his two previous ACT releases where jazz component too often has been almost lost under the domination of different folklore material. One great new 2015 ACT season opener.

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Gamak

Album · 2013 · World Fusion
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snobb
On his seconds release for German ACT label Italy-born US-based sax player of Indian origin Rudresh Mahanthappa returns to his quartet of "Codebook" (2006,Pi Records) but with one significant difference - instead of piano star Vijay Iyer he adds Screaming Headless Torsos guitarist David Fiuczynski playing fretless guitar here. As a result whole sound switches towards progressive rock still being true high energy fusion though.

Two other quartet members are regular Rudresh's collaborators acoustic bassist François Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss. It's interesting how differently sounds generally same "Indian roots + modern jazz" formula played by piano-less quartet: music here is not two melted in one components anymore but just balanced parallel lines of East and West. To be honest Rudresh never sounded too authentic playing Indian-rooted music, even less he does it here - his Trieste-NY-Indian sound gives lot of spices, but can't be compared with Shakti's world fusion.

From other hand Fiuczynski's fretless guitar is tuned slightly as sitar, all that gives strange modern Western jazz with ragas taste feeling. Add full-acoustic rhythm section - here we are! Album in whole sounds extremely fresh and modern, the only thing I missed are stronger compositions. Enjoying musicianship and interesting sound you will hardly remember even a single tune same moment when the music stops playing.

Important recordings in Mahanthappa discography, showing even bigger potential but released only in part here.

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Samdhi

Album · 2011 · World Fusion
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idlero
2011 Downbeat International Critics Poll "Alto Sax Player of the Year," composer and alto saxophonist, Rudresh Mahanthappa is one of the most innovative musicians in jazz today, fusing the musical culture of his Indian ancestry and jazz with myriad other influences to create a groundbreaking artistic vision. His sound is described as “a mix between the rhythmic investigations of Steve Coleman and the introspective searching lyricism of John Coltrane” In Sanskrit, Samdhi means "that which combines or unites" or "the interval between day and night." In more traiditonal Hindu terms, it refers to the period between the end of one age (or yuga) and the dawn of another.Mahanthappa also sees the title as a representation of "my hybrid identity of being Indian and American; being neither and both. It's also that something between electric and acoustic." A Guggenheim fellowship allowed Mahanthappa to dedicate an entire year to this single project. In the project, he combines the complex melodic and rhythmic elements of both South Indian music and the traditions of jazz. This within an electro-acoustic format consisting of David Gilmore on electric guitar, Rich Brown on electric bass, Damion Reid on drums and Anand Ananthakrishnan on mridangam (an Indian drum) “I was interested in how I could transfer the Indian music to my saxophone, particularly this special ornamentation which forms the main feature of the melodies of Indian music. Technically this took me to new territories but, at the same time, I also wanted to understand the music functionally and rhythmically” said Rudresh regarding this project."The idea was to integrate all of that into a new piece that wasn’t so blatantly ‘Indian.’ I decided to put it in a whole new context – an electronic context.” The music of 'Samdhi' is a mix of jazz grooves, Indian music, funk and electronics , Mahanthappa labels it as "eclectic instrumental funk rock". No doubt the most accessible Mahanthappa(and probably one of the most accessible avant-garde albums in general) album until now. My favourite pieces are 'Killer'(a real killer) and 'Breakfastlunchanddinnner' an interplay of call and response and unison between sax and guitar.

RUDRESH MAHANTHAPPA Dual Identity

Live album · 2010 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
Rudresh was born in Trieste - the same town on the Adriatic coast as Italian jazz icon, trumpeter Enrico Rava. But being of Indian origin and living in New York from 1997, his music has no trace of the Italian jazz tradition. Oppositely, he plays high energy angular improvisational knotty jazz mixing Indian and modern NYC downtown traditions.

"Dual Identity" was recorded live in Portugal, at the Braga Jazz Fest. This album in fact is a recording of a strong duo of alto sax players - Rudresh Mahanthappa and Steve Lehman, supported by a very competent rhythm section and Liberty Ellman on guitar. It is not the first album, released by Rudresh in 2010 - another one is a studio recording of his duo with sax veteran Bunky Green (with excellent collaborators Jason Moran, François Moutin, Jack DeJohnette and the same drummer Damion Reid) on the Americal label Pi Records. Both works have one thing in common - both are alto saxophonist duo lead albums of high energy and surprisingly modern sound.

The great thing with "Dual Identity" is that although it is an openly avant-garde jazz musical recording with two alto saxes on the front of the sound, this album isn't too noisy or too screaming and doesn't contain too many "duels". Rooted in the tradition of the late 60s, the music on here is also very modern. There is no trace of chaos that could be found - everything is well organized, framed and precisely played. A slight Indian music flavor gives an even bigger freshness and originality to the whole sound.

Recorded live during a festival concert, this album sounds almost as if it was recorded in a studio (I don't think that the idea to cut the applause was good though). Even if this is not as solid and concentrated as the Apex (studio album of the same year), this release is really enjoyable listening.

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