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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green at Jazz Standard April 20-21, 2010

gonna give you a couple full text emails to get things going before the little one wakes up -

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa is often considered one of the most important jazz musicians and composers of the new millennium. The recipient of numerous commission grants and awards, he is regarded as an innovative entity both as a composer and improviser.  
At the age of 74, Bunky Green is a significant, though unsung, fixture and trendsetter in the history of jazz.  A historically crucial voice of the alto saxophone, Mr. Green transmuted the hard-bop jazz vocabulary of the 1960s into a musical language that continues to resonate as forward thinking and vital to modern music.  He is viewed as the primary impetus and inspiration for the M-BASE Collective of the 1980s that included such important musicians as Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, and Gary Thomas to name just a few.  It's obvious that Mahanthappa and Green together is a natural pairing.

"I first heard about Bunky Green from the late great saxophone teacher Joe Viola when I was a student at Berklee in the early 90s," remarked Mahanthappa. "Joe heard me warming up once and recommended that I check Bunky out as he thought that my approach was on track to being something similar to his. He loaned me, Places We've Never Been which totally knocked me out!"

Apex, their new co-led group together features the stellar rhythm section of pianist Jason Moran, acoustic bassist Fran├žois Moutin, and drummer Damion Reid.

Mahanthappa and Green first played together at the JazzBaltica Festival in Germany in July 2008 in a loosely organized jam session along with Greg Osby and Joe Lovano.  In 2009, the City of Chicago approached Rudresh to put together a concert for their Made in Chicago Summer series. 
"I used to live in Chicago between '93-'97 so I'm seen as an honorary alum of sorts. They wanted me to put something together that had a Chicago focus. I saw this as an opportunity to both reconnect with former colleagues there and to finally do something real with Bunky." The concert was a great success and the new music was performed to over 10,000 people in Millennium Park.

While most inter-generational collaborations in jazz yield little more than superficial interplay, Apex is a true dialogue across generations yielding inventive work that speaks to contemporary music.  Furthermore, Mahanthappa's exploration of classical Indian music and its relationship to jazz brings added weight to the scope of this work.  This is not an album that simply revisits the annals of jazz but sets the trend for the future of this truly American art form.

here's what else i know -
  • Typhoon will release Hunger and Thirst in May; free download of "Starting Over" and touring with Yann Tierson on the west coast this month
  • Asian Man Records got their Vic Ruggerio and Laura Stevenson & the Cans stuff in, so if you've preordered, expect them in the near future

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