Deciphering Culture

Archive for the ‘Jazz’ Category

Intimate Dialogue (@ East Bay Express)

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Indo-Pak Coalition melds Indian music and jazz for a stylistically ambiguous sound.

By Jeffrey Callen

Like most musicians who suddenly burst onto the scene, Rudresh Mahanthappa has been working on his craft for a long time. His reputation as an innovative jazz musician and composer took a major leap from the realms of the cognoscenti into popular culture with the enthusiastic reception of his 2008 album, Kinsmen. That album featured the Dakshina Ensemble, co-led by Mahanthappa and fellow alto saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath. Kinsmen, which melds jazz and South Indian Carnatic music, ended up on more than twenty top jazz CDs of 2008 lists, and the prestigious Downbeat International Critics Poll named Mahanthappa a rising jazz artist and alto saxophonist of 2009. He also became the subject of numerous features in The New York Times, the New Yorker, and Rolling Stone. That’s how the message used to come down from the cognoscenti to us hoi polloi and, sometimes, even in this age of viral marketing, it continues to do so — and sometimes, it still works. (to read more got to East Bay Express).

Written by Jeffrey Callen

March 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Selected Writings from my page (3/09 to 12/09)

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For the Archives: a selection of entries from my SF International Music Examiner page on

Moh Alileche at Ashkenaz — a musician with a mission (March 2009)

Latin jazz pianist Omar Sosa explores the music of the Black Atlantic (March 2009)

Joshua Nelson rocks the Jewish Music Festival but I wanted more (March 2009)

Post-modern Listening: new Justin Adams / Juldeh Camara release (June 2009)

U2 tour & global warming (August 2009)

Strong on-line presence for London International Festival of Exploratory Music November 2009)

Written by Jeffrey Callen

January 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm

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