In Rez Abbasi's music, as in his life, East meets West. Born in Pakistan, he grew up in California, studied music in India and has worked in New York. Very aware of jazz, Western classical music and Indian music, he combines all three on this continually intriguing set. An organ trio with Gary Versace is joined in spots by two saxophonists, tabla, a haunting Indian vocalist, and hand drums. Abbasi switches between guitar and sitar, sounding not only comfortable in each of the styles but easily combining them together to create stimulating new music. Is this soul-jazz, fusion, Indian music, post-bop or world fusion? The answer has to be: All of them and none of them. Well worth several listens.
by Scott Yanow