Reviews

09 November 2017

Unfiltered Universe

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“The music grabs hold of both your imagination and heart with equal alluring power. Rez Abbasi proves again to be more than a superb guitarist; he’s a clever conceptualist, too….The compositions blossom as worlds unto themselves as Abbasi’s thick-toned guitar lines often run in unison with Rudresh Mahanthappa’s piquant alto sax; the two sound like pioneers probing new musical territory.”

John Murph, DownBeat

“Vigorous, gripping, modern jazz that maximizes the strengths of each ensemble member… Strapping guitar tone and lissome improvisations… Endless wonder and suspense.”
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine

“An action-packed gala… Tightly coordinated unison choruses and accenting cadences, Abbasi’s dark-toned electric guitar phrasings and Mahanthappa’s bristling sax notes signify a potent force-field atop the pulsating rhythm section.”
★★★★ All About Jazz

” An imaginative composer and guitarist of considerable virtuosity, plus an ensemble of immense talent, are all factors that make this high caliber album, imbued with unfettered vigor and intrigue, a most satisfying affair.”
★★★★1/2 All About Jazz

“Expressive and imaginative improvisation… an admirable display of skill worthy of widespread attention.”
Jazz and Blues Blog Spot

“A compelling experience.”
Bebop Spoken Here

“Complex, evocative and enigmatic.”
★★★★1/2 Kathodik (IT)

“Iyer’s playing is powerful and imaginative throughout the record; Mahanthappa and Abbasi are dazzling.”
London Jazz

“Thrills aplenty.”
Sandy Brown Jazz

“Intense, powerful music with a distinctive personality.”
Jazz Views

“True fusion, taking in all aspects of Abbasi’s personality.”
Jazziz

“Strong music carried by an excellent rhythm section.”
Culture Jazz (FR)

“Fusing Indian music and jazz with hints of classical.”
Le Souffle Bleu (FR)

“Complex, hard-driving modern jazz that frequently tips over into chopstastic fusion.”
Stereogum

“The sound is certainly unique; it’s pensive jazz, in no hurry to develop despite the often skittery grooves… Often dissonant, too, on terms both harmonic and rhythmic.”
Bandcamp Daily

“He’s [Abbasi] breathed in much through his deep research into Carnatic music tradition, and breathes it out again informed by his progressive jazz DNA.”
Something Else Reviews

“The polyrhythmic ideas bear witness to intensive study of West African and South Asian music.”
Stereo (DE)

“The blend of alto sax, acoustic piano, and guitar with this highly active rhythm section makes for a winning combination.”
Step Tempest

“A searching, melodic exploration of the rhythmic and improvisational empathy between Indian music and jazz.”
CD Aktuell

“Creative, melodious, intense and eclectic.”
Jazz Zeitung

“Rousingly powerful, rich in detail and striking… A fusion of South Indian, rock and improvised jazz music.”
Leipziger Volkszeitung

“Emphatically powerful and intense.”
Jazz Podium

“Abbasi brings an open-border fluidity to his music without forsaking any aspect of his roots.”
WGBO

“An astounding richness of rhythms and timbres.”
Image HI Fi (CH)

“Complex structures of compositions and arrangements, a never-ending atmosphere of spontaneous development, surprises and sudden twists… This is modern jazz-rock or fusion at its finest!”
Musik an Sich

“An adventure, a mysterious journey through the world of music, marked by a variety of impressions and influences.”
Musik Zirkus

“Abbasi demonstrates that his music continues to thrill and seek out the new… He’s found it here.”
Concerto Magazine

“This skilled ensemble of avant-garde Indo European musicians breathe life into Abbasi’s daring compositions.”
★★★★ Jazzthetik

“The most interesting thing about this music the rapid changes that the band makes collectively within the pieces.”
Jazz Thing

“A stimulating of unpredictable modern jazz, one of Rez Abbasi’s finest recordings to date.”
Jazz Artistry Now

“This ensemble skilfully breathes life into Abbasi’s bold Indo-Jazz, avant-garde compositions.”
Badische Zeitung

“A mixture of world, jazz and rock influences… This album has to be heard.”
Horspiegel

“The disc merges world music with contemporary free-form music and virtuosity
with harmonic simplicity… An exotic and exciting fusion.”
Musik Reviews

“For all the album’s twists and turns, the core lies in high-energy solos flying over bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss’s knowing and precisely fused beats.”
Financial Times

“Brisk, rocking and then almost chamber music in turns… Brilliant.”
★★★★ Jazz ‘n’ More

“[Unfiltered Universe] adds touches of orchestral music into an already mesmerizing mix of jazz and impressions of Carnatic music to yield something entirely new.”
Omaha Radio: Last Call Review

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