I have listened to several of Mahanthapa's releases and this is for me his best collaboration so far. The Asian influence is strong in the music but the blend between Jazz, Rock and Funk sounds more natural than ever. David Fiuczynski is a perfect match for Mahanthapa, the unison passages are a joy to listen to as both players negotiate the complex harmonic twists and changes of meter with apparent ease. In the solo sections Mahanthapa is as forceful and articulate as any of previous releases, with great tone and a mixture of fluidity and angularity. Fiuczynski uses quarter tone and fretless electric guitars, both of which he uses to fully explore the microtonal characteristics associated with eastern music, without losing his jazz/rock sensibilities. The rhythm section have to be intelligent and athletic to keep up with the changes and both also get the opportunity to display their solo skills, though it's Mahanthapa and Fiuczynski who dominate the solos.
This is an exciting, at times challenging set that will appeal to Fusion fans who enjoy the, unusual to some ears, microtonal system used in some Asian music. Most of the tracks are uptempo though there are some beautiful quiet moments. A great addition to any fusion collection that will no doubt improve with repeated listening.
Surprising, time after time, every new setting, Mahanthappa shows progression and refreshing forward-going interests. He is one of those rare masters that adds something that is even more than typical in caracter, wich on itself is an achievement allready, but he also shows the way ahead ! Think I have become a fan.. Have seen and heard his concerts and collected everything he brought out on disc. Wish I could also get a hand on all radio-concerts and other live-recordings. Live he is fantastic! But here, on CD, he shows a very close connection to that warming Live-energy. The drummer is something from outofspace in his playing, cannot subscribe the tension, originallity and teasing seemingly easy way of playing that comes from his corner. Bass is done by a guy with the technical skills of Stanley Clarcke , but he plays a six-string-bass and has a very poetic way of approaching Mahanthappa's dictations and escapes in free-scapes.. Those two, the bass-guitar and that man, they feel and look like a one-unit. He really fills and adds. The guitarman on this disc is something special. he is the mixer of everything. Hardrock till carnatic Hundustan and everything inbetween passes by. Sometimes, during the concert in Amsterdam, he had a bit of trouble following the waterquick lines of Mahanthappa, but compensated that easily by surprising interfalls and shifts on his double-guitar. On the CD that powerfull tension is feelable, driving to the edge, I like that ! This is honest stuff and gives a lot of good energy coming from a couple of young men in the sunbrightness of their lives. Just have to love it and just have to follow them with Mahanthappa in the centrepoint of interest. What i like about him too..: Though he is selebrated and given prices and rewards, top-poll-ratings and star-roles in the Festivals, the guy remains humble and ongoing in his search for the following step, still plays in the small jazzclubs and knows where he goes; onward to the next step in original new jazz !.. In this one he connects all bloodlines of music in one fresh new original blend. Enjoy !, Ad