Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rez Abbasi - Continuous Beat (Enja, 2012)

Guitarist Rez Abbasi has spent quite a bit of time as part of the New York City music scene, but has toured all over as part of collaborative groups and as a bandleader. On this album he plays in a trio format with John Hebert on bass and Satoshi Takeishi on drums. Abbasi was quoted as saying he was looking for music that “retains the warmth of the established trio sound but also employs electronics in order to expand the timbral palette, especially for the melodies.” He succeeded in that quest and the music is well played and thoughtful. “Divided Attention” uses a repetitive guitar motif to build tension and release to spring the music forward and gain momentum. Subtle percussion and probing guitar open “Major Major.” The trio centers around Takeishi’s drums before gradually building force with stronger guitar and bass. “Rivalry” is quite exciting, with a backbeat of drums and bass and Abbasi’s guitar streaking across the musical sky like shooting stars. Potent guitar and drums drive the music forward around the grounding of rock solid bass. It is really interesting to hear this group tackle the music of Thelonious Monk, as they do on their performance of “Off Minor.” The music sounds subtly fractured with the addition of electronics that probe and tease at the familiar melody. This was a very sharp sounding and exciting recording. While the music is still quite accessible, it is very fresh and thoughtfully produced. Continuous Beat - amazon.com

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