Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Rez Abbasi: All Trails Lead to Jim Hall

Before & After listening session with the guitarist sampling cuts from Jim Hall, Joe Pass, Grant Green and others

Rez Abbasi (photo by John Rogers)
Rez Abbasi (photo by John Rogers)

Despite his important work as part of groups like Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition and Adam Rudolph’s Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra, the New York-based guitarist Rez Abbasi is best known as a leader. Over the course of more than 10 albums, he has engaged with the sounds of South Asia; employed standout players like Vijay Iyer and Bill Ware; and reached a sharp, exultant place on his ax, as heard on his latest album, 2017’s spacious and fusion-y Unfiltered Universe (Whirlwind), featuring Mahanthappa on sax and Iyer on piano, plus cellist Elizabeth Mikhael, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss.

At Abbasi’s Harlem home in February, the guitarist, 52, reflected on the importance of being both an improviser and a composer; the singular combination of steel-string acoustic guitar, vibes and ride cymbal; and the time he got busted for taping an Ella concert.   – BRAD FARBERMAN

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published