Monday, November 26, 2012

A Taste of Abbasi; Hamilton Drives DePaul Ensemble - Bob Stewart

"Producing so vivid a music that it can almost be tasted, Abbasi sounds like no one who has gone before him. His compositions are sheer genius." So says All About Jazz regarding New York guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi, who has emerged as one of the most creative musicians of his generation. His forays into hybrid jazz informed by Indian-Pakistani music have set him apart from the crowd. His newest venture and ninth disc as a leader, "Continuous Beat", finds him in a highly interactive trio with bassist John Hebert and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. Along with Abbasi's singular compositions, the trio interprets and recontextualizes tunes by Keith Jarrett, Monk, and Gary Peacock.

Drummer Jeff Hamilton is featured as performer and composer with the critically-acclaimed DePaul University Jazz Ensemble on the new CD, "Time Passes On." This dynamic, swinging set of big band arrangements was recorded live at Chicago's legendary Jazz Showcase last year. The intensity and brilliant performance of Hamilton and the Ensemble is beautifully captured, and the audience at the venerable jazz club adds to the electricity and excitement of the moment. The beautifully crafted arrangements from DePaul students, faculty and alumni include tunes from the Great American Songbook plus original tunes by Hamilton and members of the Ensemble.

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