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Mahanthappa, Rudresh: Codebook (Pi Recordings)


 

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Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: PI 21
Squidco Product Code: 7041

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack

Personnel:

Rudresh Mahanthappa-alto saxophone

Vijay Iyer-piano

François Moutin-acoustic bass

Dan Weiss-drums

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track listing:


1. The Decider

2. Refresh

3. Enhanced Performance

4. Further and In Between

5. Play It Again Sam

6. Frontburner

7. D (Dee-Dee)

8. Wait It Through

9. My Sweetest
Related Categories of Interest:

Pi Records
Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
November 2006
Quartet Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

Alto sax player Rudresh Mahanthappa's second release on Pi is a studio set of a quartet setting with the excellent NY pianist Vijay Iyer, taking on the subject of cryptography.

"Once again the outside world has provided a launching point and a system of order to draw from for Rudresh. The music on Codebook stems from ideas and concepts related to cryptography. The varied systems provided the groundwork for Rudresh to approach the DNA of the compositions from fresh and previously unexplored angles. A standard could be transformed into an entirely fresh piece, a melody conceived by encoding words or phrases, and cyclic rhythms reorganized by way of a cipher. All of this is to say that another structure of order has been applied to music, but has been done so with such care and thought that the result sounds in no way formulated. As with all of Rudresh's music, the final product is quite surprising and intuitive. You can hear it in a track like "Play It Again Sam", dedicated to Samuel Morse, where Rudresh opens and closes playing what could easily be Morse code. "D (Dee-Dee)" moves with a hint of a hard bop swing reoriented for a new audience. These pieces are just some examples of how the music never comes off sounding rigid or pastiche but instead as examples of a composer's hand deftly working within a system and creating something entirely organic.

Evident throughout Codebook is Rudresh's sense of humor. From the titles of the pieces, to song structure, to group interplay and beyond, the music on Codebook lives and breathes in a new way. The "Decider" kicks off with a line as twisted as the logic of the person who inspired the title. "Enhanced Performance" is just that. Without the help of any illegal musical substances, the group locks into a groove and never lets go. "Further and In Between" continues this muscular sound by beginning with a driving bass figure, that with the help of new drummer Dan Weiss, launches the band into one of its trademark powerful attacks. The CD's nine tracks showcase the band's handle of this tricky material and further emphasize why they are one of the today's most creative and forward looking quartets.

Throughout the CD all of the hallmarks of Rudresh's sound are present, his slightly tart tone, his complexly intertwined, but always logical, lines and his unique rhythmic sense. What is more present though, is the space in the music. Pieces such as "Play It Again Sam", feature an openness between the individual musicians that was not as pronounced in previous recordings. The momentum of the music is now a gradual process. "Frontburner's" duo opening is made all the more gripping by its harmonic bareness. From section to section within a single piece, there is a thoughtfulness and maturity evident in the music that speaks to the relationship between the band and the trust placed in them by Rudresh. A soulfulness permeates this music that was not as evident in the past."-Pi Recordings


Artist Biographies:

"Shifting Foundation grantee Dan Weiss has been hailed as one of the top five jazz drummers in The New York Times, and his large ensemble recording "Fourteen" made the top ten list of their best recordings of 2014. Weiss's innovative drumming and forward thinking compositions have been pushing musical limits for years.

With his piano trio, he's released two recordings entitled, "Now Yes When" (2006) and "Timshel" (2011), which have been critically acclaimed for their unique approach to song structure and endless creative improvisation. Weiss also leads his sixteen piece large ensemble that features some of NYC's most gifted musicians. The two albums " Fourteen" (2014) and "Sixteen: Drummers Suite" (2016) released on the Pi record label have made numerous critic polls. His newest project features Craig Taborn, Matt Mitchell, Ben Monder, and Trevor Dunn and is an amalgam of jazz, metal, and new music. The recording will be released on the Pi record label in the Spring of 2018.

Weiss has been studying tabla under Pandit Samir Chatterjee for twenty years. He has performed with the legendary Ashish Khan and Ramesh Misra and recorded a solo tabla cd "3dcd" (2007). Weiss recorded two groundbreaking cds "Teental Drumset Solo" (2005) and "Jhaptal Drumset Solo" (2011) where he performs classical Indian repertoire on drum set.

Weiss was named 'The Top Up and Coming Percussionist' 2 years in a row in the 60th and 61st annual Downbeat's Critic's Poll and earned a spot in Modern Drummer's coveted Top 5 Jazz Drummers of 2014."

-Dan Weiss Website (https://www.danweiss.net/about-1/)
10/12/2018

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

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