Never at a loss for inspiration, jazz saxophone master Rudresh Mahanthappa has crafted a new ensemble and a new album to explore blending electronic music into his repertoire. Mahanthappa calls the ensemble, and its upcoming album, Samdhi, the Sanskrit word for twilight and an homage to periods of transition—particularly transitions that involve incorporating computer sounds into Indian-fusion jazz. Although his sources of inspiration and influences are far-flung, Mahanthappa’s ensemble of well-honed musicians are likely to make the album, which drops September 27, sound melodious and seamless. His team includes guitarist David Gilmore (not Gilmour), Billy Higgins’ drummer protégé Damion Reid, Toronto bassist Rich Brown and Indian drummer Anantha Krishnan, the grandson of revered Indian drummer Palgat Raghu.
In 2007, Mahanthappa was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to pursue his creative vision for Samdhi. As part of that process, he traveled to Chennai, India, to soak up some inspiration. Samdhi is the brainchild of Mahanthappa’s experiences with past musical enterprises like the Indo-Pak Coalition and Kinsman as well as some trippy ideas about change and bridges and electronic jazz music.
Tracklist For Samdhi:
01. Parakram #1
02. Killer
03. Richard’s Game (Brown)
04. Playing With Stones
05. Rune (Gilmore)
06. Breakfastlunchanddinnner
07. Parakram #2
08. Ahhh
09. Meeting Of The Skins (Reid/Krishnan)
10. Still-Gas
11. For My Lady
12. For All The Ladies