Rudresh Mahanthappa


Gamak ACT****

Jazz musicians have been making eyes at Indian music since the 1960s, but alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa is part of a new generation of US musicians of South Asian descent who are going far further than mere flirtation. Raised in Colorado, Mahanthappa is deaf to genre distinctions: jazz, punk, prog rock and Carnatic classical music are all part of the same continuum of sound from which he is creating his own language. The word gamak refers to the formal melodic ornamentation found in Indian music, but there is something very spontaneous about Mahanthappa and his group’s ornamentation. With guitarist David Fiuczynski’s punk-inflected playing, drummer Dan Weiss’s intuitive eastern-style drumming, and bassist Francois Moutin’s solidity, Gamak is loud, gutsy music from a new frontier.

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