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Posts by Rafiq

Photo via All About Jazz // Filter by Pixlr

Photo via All About Jazz // Filter by Pixlr

Speaking in The New York Times about Ralph Alessi‘s album This Against That, Nate Chinen praises the artists’ “prodigious trumpet technique,” noting that “what Mr. Alessi prizes in music is not the impeccable but the ineffable: the thrill of seeking but not knowing.” As Chinen has claimed elsewhere, Ralph and his collaborators propel the music forward with “the urgent force and clarity of a manifesto.” (more…)

Photo by Will Boisture // Filter by Pixlr

Photo by Will Boisture // Filter by Pixlr

The New York Times‘ Nate Chinen describes Nils Weinhold as “a young German guitarist given to crisp intricacy.” JazzTimes Bill Milkowski concurs, characterizing the young musician  as “a technical monster with a warm tone and fluid delivery.” According to Milkowski, it is obvious that Nils is “a product of the angular, odd-intervallic, slightly dissonant school of post-Metheny/post-Abercrombie guitar playing.” Yet the guitarist has also been shaped by a unique lifelong journey, from his roots in a remote German village to his current rise in one of the world’s most vibrant musical cities. (more…)

Photo by Cees Van de Ven // Filter by Jazz Speaks

Photo by Cees Van de Ven // Filter by Jazz Speaks

“Harish [Raghavan] always has been a marvelous talent, but he’s really taken off with that talent,” remarks the bassist John Clayton. The vocalist Kurt Elling agrees: “Harish is a bass player whose reputation for musicality, musicianship and professionalism is taking firm hold on the New York scene. Cat is solid, man.” Growing up just north of Chicago, Harish began his musical training on both western and Indian percussion, eventually taking up the double bass in his late teens. Something took hold quickly; before long, the young musician was enrolled at USC, studying with both Clayton and Robert Hurst, and apprenticing under some of the finest musicians on the Los Angeles scene. In 2007, he moved to New York, and has subsequently become one of the most in-demand bassists of his generation, making contributions to bands led by Ambrose Akinmusire, Vijay Iyer, Taylor Eigsti, Eric Harland, Kurt Elling, and dozens of others. Two years later, he made it to the semifinals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition. Harish has been performing at The Gallery for many years; on Saturday, he will return once more to celebrate his birthday on our stage. We caught up with the bassist via email while he was on the road to discuss his current projects, including the one we’ll hear this weekend, and his early memories of The Jazz Gallery. Harish Raghavan speaks:


 You’re in Paris right now. What projects have you been involved with lately and where have you traveled recently?

So, currently I’m here after spending a few days in Athens. Right now, I’m on tour with Eric Harland‘s Voyager band. I’m still just playing with my friends: Ambrose [Akinmusire], Walter [Smith III], Taylor [Eigsti], Eric [Harland], and Logan [Richardson] as of late. (more…)

Photos via http://reztone.com & Flickr // Filter via Pixlr

Photos via http://reztone.com & Flickr // Filter via Pixlr

A native of Karachi, Pakistan, Rez Abbasi spent his formative years in California, where he fell in love with the music of Rush, Led Zeppelin, and King Crimson. Before long, however, the young guitarist got his first exposure to jazz through the music of Joe Pass, and soon thereafter discovered Allan Holdsworth. Around this time, he made the decision to pursue the guitar, which led to studies at USC and the Manhattan School of Music, as well as a sojourn to India to study with the master percussionist Alla Rakha. Since graduating, Rez has lived in New York for over two decades. He has released nine recordings under his own name, and has collaborated on stage and in the studio with artists such as David Liebman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, and Kiran Ahluwalia. (more…)