Rudresh Mahanthappa

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Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa.jpg
Photo by Sheldon Levy
Background information
Born 1971 (age 42–43)
Trieste, Italy
Origin United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, educator
Instruments Alto saxophone
Labels Pi Recordings, ACT
Website Rudreshm.com
Rudresh Mahanthappa
Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson

Rudresh Mahanthappa (born May 4, 1971) is a New York-based jazz alto saxophonist and composer.

Biography[edit]

Mahanthappa was born in Trieste, Italy, the son of Indian emigrants to the United States. He was born in Italy as a result of his father's job in academia, but spent nearly his entire early life in Boulder, Colorado, graduating from Fairview High School in 1988.[1]

In 1992, Mahanthappa graduated from Berklee College of Music.[2] He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in jazz composition from Chicago's DePaul University in 1998.[3]

After moving to New York City in 1998, he quickly teamed up and released an album with pianist Vijay Iyer, Architextures, the first of many collaborations between the two.

As of 2012, he has twelve albums out as a leader or co-leader on labels including Pi Recordings, Savoy Jazz, ACT Music + Vision, and others. Mahanthappa's playing and composing are firmly ensconced in the highest of the New York jazz scene today.

Musical Influences[edit]

During his time at Berklee, he was introduced to the music of Indian saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, whose use of a Western instrument in the context of Carnatic music surprised and inspired Mahanthappa. He would later travel to India on a grant to work with Gopalnath; the two played together in concert between 2005 and 2008, and collaborated on the album Kinsmen (2008), which fuses Western and Indian approaches to improvisation.[4]

In 2010, Mahanthappa recorded and released Apex with fellow saxophonist Bunky Green. As Mahanthappa tells it, “I first heard about Bunky from the late great saxophone teacher Joe Viola when I was a student at Berklee in the early 90s. Joe heard me warming up once and recommended that I check Bunky out as he thought that my approach was on track to being something similar to his. He loaned me Bunky’s record Places We’ve Never Been (Vanguard) which totally knocked me out!” Mahanthappa sought Green out and sent him a tape of his playing to which Green responded by providing some encouraging feedback, leading to a long friendship.[5]

Mahanthappa traveled again to India for his Guggenheim Fellowship so that he could study and gain a better understanding of the formal elements of Carnatic music. In a 2011 interview with Westword about the resulting album, Samdhi, Mahanthappa said, "my idea was to take whatever I learned -- take that knowledge -- and really put in a setting that has nothing to do with Indian classical music.[1] Mahanthappa further claims The Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, David Sanborn, Grover Washington, Jr., and Miles Davis' electric bands as influences in creating Samdhi.

Projects[edit]

He leads or co-leads seven projects, including: Rudresh Mahanthappa Quartet (with Vijay Iyer or Craig Taborn on piano, François Moutin on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums), Raw Materials (with Vijay Iyer), Indo-Pak Coalition (with Rez Abbasi on sitar-guitar and Dan Weiss on tabla), MSG (with Ronan Guilfoyle on bass and Chander Sardjoe on drums), Dakshina Ensemble septet, and various groups playing under the label "Dual Identity."

Awards[edit]

Mahanthappa has frequently been listed in Down Beat's Critics Poll since 2003, and was named both "#1 Rising Star Jazz Artist" and "#1 Rising Star Alto Saxophonist" in the 2010 poll.[6] In 2011, he was voted the #1 Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the 59th Annual Down Beat Critics Poll.[7]

He has been awarded numerous grants for his compositions, including being given the NY Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Music (2006), three Rockefeller MAP grants, and two New York State Council on the Arts grants.

In 2007, he was named a Guggenheim fellow to pursue his interest in how Indian Carnatic music can inform and serve as an inspiration for American jazz.[8]

The Jazz Journalists Association named Mahanthappa the Alto Saxophonist of the Year in 2009,[9] 2010,[10] and 2011.[11]

Discography[edit]

As Leader / Co-Leader[edit]

Year Title Artist Label Footnotes
1994 Yatra Rudresh Mahanthappa Red Giant Records [12]
2002 Black Water Rudresh Mahanthappa Red Giant Records [13]
2004 Mother Tongue Rudresh Mahanthappa Pi Recordings [14]
2006 Raw Materials Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa Savoy Jazz [15]
2006 Codebook Rudresh Mahanthappa Pi Recordings [16]
2006 The Beautiful Enabler Mauger Trio (Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway) Clean Feed Records [17]
2008 Kinsmen Rudresh Mahanthappa & Kadri Gopalnath: The Dakshina Ensemble Pi Recordings [18]
2008 Apti Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition Innova Recordings [19]
2010 Dual Identity Rudresh Mahanthappa & Steve Lehman Clean Feed Records [20]
2010 Apex Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green Pi Recordings [21]
2011 Tasty! MSG: Rudresh Mahanthappa, Chander Sardjoe, & Ronan Guilfoyle Plus Loin Music [22]
2011 Samdhi Rudresh Mahanthappa ACT Music + Vision [23]
2013 Gamak Rudresh Mahanthappa ACT Music + Vision [24]

As a Sideman[edit]

Year Title Artist Label Footnotes
1992 Plays Music by Rich Latham The Oversize Quartet Accurate Records [25]
1994 Big Band Basie Clark Terry with the DePaul University Big Band Reference Recordings [26]
1998 Architextures Vijay Iyer Red Giant Records [27]
2001 Panoptic Modes Vijay Iyer Red Giant Records [28]
2003 In What Language Vijay Iyer Pi Recordings [29]
2005 Far Side of Here Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet Omnitone [30]
2005 Reimagining Vijay Iyer Savoy Jazz [31]
2006 Bazaar Rez Abbasi Zoho Music [32]
2006 Blood Sutra Vijay Iyer Pi Recordings [33]
2007 The Chicago Sessions Clark Terry with the DePaul University Big Band Summit Records [34]
2007 Two Rivers Amir ElSaffar Pi Recordings [35]
2008 A Celebration of the Music of Miles Davis Miles From India, produced by Bob Belden Four Quarters Entertainment [36]
2008 Real People Anders Morgensen Blackout Music [37]
2008 Tragicomic (Vijay Iyer album) Vijay Iyer Sunnyside Records [38]
2009 Things To Come Rez Abbasi Sunnyside Records [39]
2010 The Two Faces of Janus Jason Robinson Cuneiform Records [40]
2010 Providencia Danilo Pérez Mack Avenue Records [41]
2011 Live at Yoshi's 2010 Jack DeJohnette Golden Beams Productions [42]
2011 Suno Suno Rez Abbasi Enja [43]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Solomon, Jon (30 September 2009). "Rudresh Mahanthappa on his new album, mentally practicing and growing up in Boulder". Westword. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "David Fiuczynski's Micro Jam Featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa". Berklee College of Music. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "DePaul Alum Brings Jazz Fusion to Chicago". Demon Tracks. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Giddins, Gary (2 March 2009). "A Passage to India". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Bunky Green - Apex". Pi Recordings. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "57th Annual Critic's Poll Official Results". Down Beat. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Jason Moran Wins DownBeat Critics Poll". DownBeat Magazine. Maher Publications. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rudresh K. Mahanthappa". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Rudresh Mahanthappa". AllAboutJazz.com. All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  10. ^ "2010 JJA Jazz Awards Winners". AllAboutJazz.com. All About Jazz. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  11. ^ "JJA Jazz Awards 2011: 2011 Winners". Jazz Journalists Association. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  12. ^ Adler, David R. "Yatra". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  13. ^ Edelstein, Paula. "Black Water". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Snowden, Don. "Mother Tongue". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Widran, Jonathan. "Raw Materials". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  16. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Codebook". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "The Beautiful Enabler". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Westergaard, Sean. "Kinsmen". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Nastos, Michael G. "Apti". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Nastos, Michael G. "Dual Identity". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  21. ^ Freeman, Phil. "Apex". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Tasty!". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Samdhi". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "Gamak". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Plays Music by Rich Latham". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  26. ^ Yanow, Scott R. "Big Band Basie". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  27. ^ Adler, David R. "Architextures". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  28. ^ Adler, David R. "Panoptic Modes". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  29. ^ Nickson, Chris. "In What Language". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  30. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Far Side of Here". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  31. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Reimagining". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  32. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Bazaar". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  33. ^ Snowden, Don. "Blood Sutra". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  34. ^ Collar, Matt. "The Chicago Sessions". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  35. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Two Rivers". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  36. ^ Westergaard, Sean. "Miles From India". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  37. ^ "Real People". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  38. ^ Dryden, Ken. "Tragicomic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  39. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Things To Come". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  40. ^ "The Two Faces of Janus". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  41. ^ "Real People". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Live At Yoshi's 2010". JackDeJohnette.com. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  43. ^ "Suno Suno". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 

External links[edit]