Earth SoundsRez Abbasi : Snake Charmer (IND/PAK/US,2005)***'
Rez Abbasi is a talented guitarist with roots in Pakistan & India. After graduating at the Manhatten School of Music he studied tabla in India. What makes his style so unique is that his guitar style (guitar and sitar-guitar) has a complete foundation in jazz, and a bit in jazzfusion, where he adapts all kinds of Indian elements. No forced mix or Indofusion here. Everything is done with the essence of jazz. Gary Versace’s organ parts give a small progressive touch. Dave Liebman’s soprano sax parts work very well too, and are worth mentioning and focusing on. Indian rooted Kiran Ahluwalia’s Indian vocals and tanpura strengthen the Indian flavour. Here and there, like on “Rumi” the percussion makes some compromising diatones of jazz with an Indian element. Only on “Kismet” some tabla is used.
This is a very rewarding album for those tired of lame and simple fusing or mixing combinations of Indian music. This is a fine album for jazz lovers.