Rudresh Mahanthappa / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE
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Rudresh Mahanthappa

6 NOV 2015
20:30
Main Stage
The saxophonist who loves messing about with Charlie Parker. It’s been said that that’s a lot like Einstein messing about with Isaac Newton!
Full price: 10 – 15 – 18 – 28 €
Reduced & Small groups
(5-9 people): 8 – 11 – 14 – 22 €
Large groups (10+ people):
6 – 9 – 12 – 20 €
People with disabilities: 5 € - Companions: 10 €
Unemployed: 5 €
At 44, Rudresh Mahanthappa has been declared Saxophonist of the Year three times by the Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Polls and for five years running by the Jazz Journalists Association, has won the coveted Doris Duke Performing Artist Award for his enviable dedication to jazz, has received a research grant from the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation and has been commissioned to compose dozens of works.

These many distinctions serve to applaud the ways in which Mahanthappa -the child of Indian immigrants in the US- has explored his Southern Indian musical heritage and translated it into his own personal idiom, coining multicultural hybrids which he uses as an approach contemporary jazz. His greatest obsession, though, is the legendary saxophonist, Charlie Parker.

His first contact with the music of Bird -Parker’s nickname- came through an LP lent to him by one of his music teachers. The music on Archetypes set him alight: “I listened and couldn’t believe the way he was playing, gorgeous with so much charisma”. He describes discovering a copy of the Bird: Master Takes collection some time after that as “like finding the Holy Grail!”.

But while his latest recording, Bird Calls, which was released by ACT, does reference Charlie Parker directly, it’s not a tribute album. Which isn’t to say that Parker’s DNA isn’t there in every one of the tracks. Bird Calls is an exhaustive study of Parker’s influence on 21st century contemporary jazz. And because he knows just how pervasive Yardbird’s influence really is, Mahanthappa is free to play music which, while it grows straight out of Parker’s, is still entirely his own and “more happening than anything happening today”.

Mahanthappa doesn’t keep anything from Bird’s originals -well, perhaps a chord or two which clash with the melody or the occasional familiar motif played with different notes. The result is classic jazz with a contemporary approach to rhythm, melody and harmony. Rereading the originals, Mahanthappa lays before us a panorama of Birds featuring the different ways Charlie Parker’s music has been received by individuals and generations. The album was a critical triumph, the verdict unanimous: “This is the sort of thing a jazz fan's daydreams are made of”, or “It's astonishing realize that so few players have taken chances by looking beyond the songs, the music theory, the recordings of Bird”.

credits

Rudresh Mahanthappa: saxophone
Adam O’Farrill: trumpet
Joshua White: piano
François Moutin: bass
Dan Weiss: drums

sponsoring / partnerships

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