9 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On the excellent 2012 release Continuous Beat, guitarist Rez Abbasi is joined by two frequent collaborators: bassist John Hebert and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. Fusion is a key reference point here, but Abbasi—a Pakistan native who grew up in California—incorporates other musical strains into his work. The opener, “Introduction,” is a solo electric guitar piece that hints at psychedelia and South Asian music. On “Rivalry,” there are times when the players seem to go off in different directions, creating music with three focal points. Keith Jarrett’s “The Cure” finds the trio coolly grooving and Abbasi spinning out an unpredictable solo that bristles with edgy energy. It’s interesting to hear a take on Thelonious Monk’s “Off Minor,” whose theme is barely hinted at for most of the track. There’s a nice stretch where Hebert steps forward to make a statement, as his bass is tickled by Takeishi’s cymbals and Abbasi’s soft interpolations. The album closes with a reharmonized and slightly unsettled take on “The Star Spangled Banner.” It’s just Abbasi and an acoustic guitar, and this version is haunting.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On the excellent 2012 release Continuous Beat, guitarist Rez Abbasi is joined by two frequent collaborators: bassist John Hebert and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. Fusion is a key reference point here, but Abbasi—a Pakistan native who grew up in California—incorporates other musical strains into his work. The opener, “Introduction,” is a solo electric guitar piece that hints at psychedelia and South Asian music. On “Rivalry,” there are times when the players seem to go off in different directions, creating music with three focal points. Keith Jarrett’s “The Cure” finds the trio coolly grooving and Abbasi spinning out an unpredictable solo that bristles with edgy energy. It’s interesting to hear a take on Thelonious Monk’s “Off Minor,” whose theme is barely hinted at for most of the track. There’s a nice stretch where Hebert steps forward to make a statement, as his bass is tickled by Takeishi’s cymbals and Abbasi’s soft interpolations. The album closes with a reharmonized and slightly unsettled take on “The Star Spangled Banner.” It’s just Abbasi and an acoustic guitar, and this version is haunting.

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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

6 Ratings

What Jazz Should Be!

Sarosh Effendi,

Beautiful and fresh sounds!

About Rez Abbasi

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 Jim Hall his earliest influence on guitar, and Pat Metheny influenced both his playing and writing when he recorded his first album, Third Ear, in 1991-1992. However, Metheny became less of an influence on Abbasi as the 1990s progressed. The mid- to late-'90s found Abbasi (who is also influenced by Bill Frisell) continuing to do a lot of writing and playing his share of Manhattan club dates, while paying the bills with "day gigs" as a music teacher; he recorded Modern Memory in 1996. ~ Alex Henderson

  • ORIGIN
    Karachi, Pakistan
  • GENRE
    Jazz
  • BORN
    August 27, 1965

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