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Published: 2012/03/14
by Ron Hart

Rudresh Mahanthappa

ACT Music

Few jazz artists were actively exploring the world of fusion in the year 2011. But saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa takes his unique spin on post-bop and plunges it headfirst into a strange chasm between traditional Indian music and electronic sound on his excellent debut for the ACT Music imprint, entitled Samdhi. The title of this album is a Sanskrit term that refers to a period between two eras. And true to its nominclature, this collection is indeed a crossroads of generational disparities. Flanked by a stellar pickup band of jazz’s hungriest young lions, including guitarist David Gilmore, bassist Rich Brown and drummer Damion Reid along with South Indian percussionist “Anand” Anantha Krishnan, this stellar combo unleashes a groove rocket of international psychedelic spiritualism that zig zags between John McLaughlin’s Shakti, late 80s Yellowjackets and Autechre at their most human. And within the crux of this cross-cultural paradigm, Manthappa releases his most impassioned alto blowing to date. Samdhi brings the future of Indo-jazz with an unabashed sense of divination and innovation that few of his peers could match.

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