Rudresh Mahanthappa

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Codebook Review

by Scott Yanow

Codebook is led by altoist Rudresh Mahanthappa but the quartet is very much a democracy, even if Mahanthappa contributed all of the selections. Bassist Fran├žois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss are both very active players even when backing the saxophonist and, although pianist Vijay Iyer's playing is subtle, he is also an important force in setting the moods and the grooves of the music. Mahanthappa shows a great deal of versatility, ranging from lines on "Wait It Through" that are worthy of Anthony Braxton to hints of John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Greg Osby and Steve Coleman. However, he also has his own approach, and he sounds nothing like his predecessors when he caresses the melody of "My Sweetest." This is a thought-provoking set of fiery but coherent music. Recommended.

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