****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Rez Abassi Acoustic Quartet: Intents and Purposes

I’ve liked guitarist Rez Abassi for quite some time, as he mixes well traditional post bop jazz with a dash of Middle Eastern intrigue. This quartet session with Bill Ware/vibe, Stephan Crump/b and Eric McPherson puts him over the top into the next level of class. He plays steel string, fretless and baritone acoustic guitars on this acoustic set, and he picks modern fusion-era material to deliver the goods. And goods he does!

A take of Weather Report’s “Black Market” has an infectious lilt and mood, while the mystical mix of vibes and guitar come across like a fragrant curry, McPherson is flexible in his use of patterns and free form, creating a hip restlessness on “Butterfly” while digging a deep ditch with Ware and Crump on “Joyous Lake” that is as relentless as it is irresistible. Abbasi’s guitar delves into exiticism on Larry Coryell’s “Low-Lee Tah” and some complex angles make for a trigonometric dream on John McLaughlin’s  kinetic “Resolution” as vibes and drums create some wild ricochets of fun. Abbasi sparkles like the North Star on a glowing read of Chick Corea’s “Medieval Overture.” By the time you get to the closing and dynamic read of Tony Williams’ “There Comes A Time,” you’ll want to play the whole thing again to see if it really was as good as you thought the first time. It will be!

Enja Records


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