Saturday, May 21, 2011

MSG - Tasty! (Lion Music, 2011)

MSG is a collective modern jazz group consisting of Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto saxophone, Ronan Guilfoyle on bass and Chander Sardjoe on drums. The music they perform this album is very fresh and innovative, taking advantage of the trio setting that has inspired the likes of Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman to great improvisational flights in the past. Mahanthappa’s snake charmer toned alto saxophone is particularly enthralling, weaving through the excellent rhythm work like an artisan developing an intricate tapestry. The up-tempo pieces are especially interesting, with great titles like “Groove Band Rebellion” and “Waltz for the Automatically Correct” you can tell that the group has a sense of humor and does not take itself too seriously. However, they do take the music quite seriously and their performances on these fast paced tracks is an indication of how inspired they were at the time of the recording. “Chant” switches gears to a haunting and alluring feel, where the musicians are allowed to stretch out with a different musical conception in mind. Overall, this was a exciting and rewarding album that pays dividends for repeated listening. Rudresh Mathanthappa has performed in a number of settings over the course of the past couple of years, from duets with pianist Vijay Iyer in the duo Raw Materials to his highly lauded collaboration with fellow saxophonist Bunky Green. Hopefully despite a very busy schedule, he can return to the trio format soon, as it suits him in a very rewarding manner. Tasty! -

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