11 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Gamak, alto saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa leads a quartet through 11 of his striking compositions. Electric guitarist David Fiuczynski, acoustic bassist Francois Moutin, and drummer Dan Weiss are more than up to the challenge of playing charged music that draws from both Indian and American traditions. “Waiting Is Forbidden” recalls Ornette Coleman’s electric outfits, as well as John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra. Fiuczynski in particular dazzles with his virtuosity and mix of timbres; the guitarist trades wild lines with Mahanthappa on “Abhogi,” a piece marked by stops and starts that will put a smile on your face. “Are There Clouds in India?” is a spacy, almost woozy cut that manages to be both mellow and discombobulated. “Ballad for Troubled Times” starts with an unaccompanied statement by Mahanthappa before the band joins; once again, Fiuczynski comes up with surprising runs. The guitar and sax playing are electrifying throughout Gamak, but pay attention to the rhythm section. Moutin and Weiss are consistently inventive, creating unusual meshes for the high-wire act of the front line.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Gamak, alto saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa leads a quartet through 11 of his striking compositions. Electric guitarist David Fiuczynski, acoustic bassist Francois Moutin, and drummer Dan Weiss are more than up to the challenge of playing charged music that draws from both Indian and American traditions. “Waiting Is Forbidden” recalls Ornette Coleman’s electric outfits, as well as John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra. Fiuczynski in particular dazzles with his virtuosity and mix of timbres; the guitarist trades wild lines with Mahanthappa on “Abhogi,” a piece marked by stops and starts that will put a smile on your face. “Are There Clouds in India?” is a spacy, almost woozy cut that manages to be both mellow and discombobulated. “Ballad for Troubled Times” starts with an unaccompanied statement by Mahanthappa before the band joins; once again, Fiuczynski comes up with surprising runs. The guitar and sax playing are electrifying throughout Gamak, but pay attention to the rhythm section. Moutin and Weiss are consistently inventive, creating unusual meshes for the high-wire act of the front line.

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