Rez Abbasi's Invocation

Modern Creative - World Music

Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto saxophone); Rez Abbasi (guitar); Vijay Iyer (piano); Johannes Weidenmueller (double bass); Dan Weiss (drums).

Guitarist Rez Abbasi now lives and works in New York, though he was born and raised in Pakistan. Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery and George Benson all had a significant influence on his early development. In later years, Abbasi made his name with a striking notion: blending jazz with Indian music. In order to further explore this, he founded the group Invocation in 2008, an adventure in which alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and pianist Vijay Iyer participated with complete conviction. The result was an exciting mix of two worlds. Their debut album Things To Come (2009) was named among the "Best Albums Of The Decade" by DownBeat. During his student days, Abbasi concentrated on Ravi Shankar as well as Béla Bartók, and this wide-ranging interest can clearly be heard in his compositions. On Invocation's latest album, Suno, Suno (2011) grooves and harmonies of the Indian qawwali (Sufi devotional music) are interwoven with the language and structure of contemporary jazz.