Reviews of ‘Bird Calls’ by Rudresh Mahanthappa and ‘Intents and Purposes’ by Rez Abbasi

February 24, 2015 2:00 AM

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Reviews of ‘Bird Calls’ by Rudresh Mahanthappa and ‘Intents and Purposes’ by Rez Abbasi

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, who is 43, and guitarist Rez Abbasi, who is 49, share more than South Asian and American roots. Each musician is a vital figure on his instrument, the two jazzmen rose to prominence about a decade ago, and they have played together in several bands.

Earlier this month, each released a recording that takes vintage repertoire in a new direction. Mr. Mahanthappa’s disc, “Bird Calls” (ACT), offers a series of tunes inspired by the music of Charlie Parker—but so deeply abstracted that it is no rote tribute recording. Instead, the saxophonist who cou...

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