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Mahanthappa's Gamak: Jazz at the Studio

Blending Indian music with funk, rock and other elements, Mahanthappa, Fiucynski, Moutin and Weiss threw down on March 3.

Alto saxophone master Rudresh Mahanthappa delivered two blazing sets of hard to categorize music on March 3, fronting a magnificent group including electric guitarist David Fiucynski, bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss in an Athenaeum Jazz at the Studio production.

Opening with "Waiting Is Forbidden," Mahanthappa issued insistent repetitions while Fiucynski chomped hard on a 9th chord, sounding for a moment, at least like the James Brown band at a Mumbai disco. Kaleidoscopic shifts in mood followed, each highlighted by the endless fountain of ideas pouring out of the saxophonist. Fiucynski emerged, with lightening strikes on a double-neck instrument (fretted & fretless), conjuring a strange meeting of Indian mandolinist U. Shrinivas and British free jazz pioneer Derek Bailey.

The nagging melody of "Abhogi," yielded first to Fiucynski who strung slabs of "skronk" before engaging in a serpentine duet with Mahanthappa of spiraling intensity. Moutin and Weiss then began trading choruses of thumb-position velocity and asymmetric tom-tom explosions to ratchet the intensity even higher. They seemed to be acting on an ethos of echo/ answer/ oppose/ challenge. Or something like that.

Moutin's bass rumblings set the stage for "Lots Of Interest," while Mahanthappa laid out elliptical lines that traversed into Ornette Coleman-esque epiphanies-- all marked by circular-breathing and intense microtonal insertions. Fiucynski responded with distorted commentary, linking the esoteric with the blues, and Moutin's solo absolutely sang with sculpted tones and visceral rhythmic assaults. Over a two-note vamp- Weiss opened up a furious dialog that built up to an ecstatic display of kinetic energy.

Exciting stuff that continues to resonate in my skull.

Photo by Michael Klayman

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Alto saxophone master Rudresh Mahanthappa delivered two blazing sets of hard to categorize music on March 3, fronting a magnificent group including electric guitarist David Fiucynski, bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss in an Athenaeum Jazz at the Studio production.

Opening with "Waiting Is Forbidden," Mahanthappa issued insistent repetitions while Fiucynski chomped hard on a 9th chord, sounding for a moment, at least like the James Brown band at a Mumbai disco. Kaleidoscopic shifts in mood followed, each highlighted by the endless fountain of ideas pouring out of the saxophonist. Fiucynski emerged, with lightening strikes on a double-neck instrument (fretted & fretless), conjuring a strange meeting of Indian mandolinist U. Shrinivas and British free jazz pioneer Derek Bailey.

The nagging melody of "Abhogi," yielded first to Fiucynski who strung slabs of "skronk" before engaging in a serpentine duet with Mahanthappa of spiraling intensity. Moutin and Weiss then began trading choruses of thumb-position velocity and asymmetric tom-tom explosions to ratchet the intensity even higher. They seemed to be acting on an ethos of echo/ answer/ oppose/ challenge. Or something like that.

Moutin's bass rumblings set the stage for "Lots Of Interest," while Mahanthappa laid out elliptical lines that traversed into Ornette Coleman-esque epiphanies-- all marked by circular-breathing and intense microtonal insertions. Fiucynski responded with distorted commentary, linking the esoteric with the blues, and Moutin's solo absolutely sang with sculpted tones and visceral rhythmic assaults. Over a two-note vamp- Weiss opened up a furious dialog that built up to an ecstatic display of kinetic energy.

Exciting stuff that continues to resonate in my skull.

Photo by Michael Klayman

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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