Rez Abbasi’s Invocation


Suno Suno Enja****

Guitarist Rez Abbasi is one of the most creative of a generation of south Asian-American musicians delving into the musical culture their parents left behind when they emigrated from the subcontinent to the US during the 1960s. Abassi and his colleagues, including pianist Vijay Iyer and saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, are reaching beyond mere emulation, applying the underlying principles of Indian and Pakistani music, but with a sound that is rooted firmly in contemporary American jazz practice. The compositions on Suno Suno(meaning “listen listen” in Urdu) – the follow-up to their much-lauded 2009 release Things to Come– were inspired by the Sufi musical tradition of Qawwali, which the guitarist likens to gospel in its spiritual intent, but those who are expecting south Asian instruments or tunes will be disappointed. Those, however, who like to be challenged by complex, endlessly inventive group playing will be anything but. See