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Third Ear

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Album Review

Though Rez Abbasi can handle hard bop and standards, it is as a fusion and post-bop player that the guitarist has been the most exciting. The L.A. native showed a great deal of promise as both a soloist and a composer on Third Ear, a solid fusion-oriented date employing Kenny Werner (acoustic piano), Marc Copland (electric keyboards), Peter Erskine (drums), the Yellowjackets' Bob Mintzer (tenor & soprano sax) and others. Abbasi isn't one to favor volume for the sake of volume, and his lyrical inclinations serve him well on such thoughtful originals as "For the Birds and the Bees," "Mood Sketch" and the mysterious, Weather Report-ish "Elephant Island." Abbasi's solos give the impression that he was listening to a lot of Pat Metheny at the time (along with some Bill Frisell), although by the late 1990s, Metheny's influence wouldn't be as prominent in his playing. This CD made it clear that Abbasi was someone to keep an eye on.


Born: 27 August 1965 in Karachi, Pakistan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A flexible guitarist who plays mostly fusion but can also handle post-bop, hard bop and standards, Rez Abbasi showed a lot of promise playing around New York in the 1990s. The improviser was born in Karachi, Pakistan and lived there as a baby; he was only three when his parents moved to Los Angeles, where he was raised. Abbasi, who grew up speaking English as his primary language and doesn't speak with even a trace of a Middle Eastern accent, was 22 when he moved to New York in 1987. Abbasi considers...
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Third Ear, Rez Abbasi
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