Rudresh Mahanthappa

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Rudresh Mahanthappa
Rudresh Mahanthappa.jpg
Photo by Sheldon Levy
Background information
Born (1971-05-04) May 4, 1971 (age 45)
Trieste, Italy
Genres Jazz, avant-garde jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Alto saxophone
Years active 1990s–present
Labels Pi, ACT
Website www.rudreshm.com

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

Biography[edit]

Mahanthappa is the son of Indian emigrants to the U.S. He was born in in Trieste, Italy, as a result of his father's job in academia, but he spent most of his life in Boulder, Colorado. He graduated 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 released the album Architextures with pianist Vijay Iyer. The two would collaborate often.

Musical influences[edit]

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Photo: Hreinn Gudlaugsson

During his time at Berklee, he was introduced to the music of Indian saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, whose use of a Western instrument in 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 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 newspaper 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.

Groups[edit]

He leads or co-leads the 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 and honors[edit]

Since 2003, Mahanthappa has been listed frequently in the Critics' Poll of Down Beat magazine. He was named both "No. 1 Rising Star Jazz Artist" and "No. 1 Rising Star Alto Saxophonist" in the 2010 poll.[6] In 2011, he was voted the No. 1 Alto Saxophonist of the Year by the 59th Annual Down Beat Critics' Poll.[7]

He was given a grant by the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Music (2006), three Rockefeller MAP grants, and two grants from the New York State Council on the Arts.

In 2007, he was named a Guggenheim fellow to pursue his interest in how carnatic music can inform and inspire American jazz.[8]

The Jazz Journalists Association named Mahanthappa 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 [12]
2002 Black Water Rudresh Mahanthappa Red Giant [13]
2004 Mother Tongue Rudresh Mahanthappa Pi [14]
2006 Raw Materials Vijay Iyer & Rudresh Mahanthappa Savoy Jazz [15]
2006 Codebook Rudresh Mahanthappa Pi [16]
2006 The Beautiful Enabler Mauger Trio (Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway) Clean Feed [17]
2008 Kinsmen Rudresh Mahanthappa & Kadri Gopalnath: The Dakshina Ensemble Pi [18]
2008 Apti Rudresh Mahanthappa's Indo-Pak Coalition Innova [19]
2010 Dual Identity Rudresh Mahanthappa & Steve Lehman Clean Feed [20]
2010 Apex Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green Pi [21]
2011 Tasty! MSG: Rudresh Mahanthappa, Chander Sardjoe, Ronan Guilfoyle Plus Loin [22]
2011 Samdhi Rudresh Mahanthappa ACT [23]
2013 Gamak Rudresh Mahanthappa ACT [24]
2015 Bird Calls Rudresh Mahanthappa ACT

As sideman[edit]

Year Title Artist Label Footnotes
1992 Plays Music by Rich Latham The Oversize Quartet Accurate [25]
1994 Big Band Basie Clark Terry with the DePaul University Big Band Reference [26]
1998 Architextures Vijay Iyer Red Giant [27]
2001 Panoptic Modes Vijay Iyer Red Giant [28]
2003 In What Language Vijay Iyer Pi [29]
2003 Blood Sutra Vijay Iyer Pi [30]
2005 Far Side of Here Brooklyn Saxophone Quartet Omnitone [31]
2005 Reimagining Vijay Iyer Savoy Jazz [32]
2006 Bazaar Rez Abbasi Zoho [33]
2007 The Chicago Sessions Clark Terry with the DePaul University Big Band Summit [34]
2007 Two Rivers Amir ElSaffar Pi [35]
2008 A Celebration of the Music of Miles Davis Miles from India, produced by Bob Belden Four Quarters [36]
2008 Real People Anders Morgensen Blackout [37]
2008 Tragicomic (Vijay Iyer album) Vijay Iyer Sunnyside [38]
2009 Things to Come Rez Abbasi Sunnyside [39]
2010 The Two Faces of Janus Jason Robinson Cuneiform [40]
2010 Providencia Danilo Pérez Mack Avenue [41]
2011 Live at Yoshi's 2010 Jack DeJohnette Golden Beams [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. ^ Snowden, Don. "Blood Sutra". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  31. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Far Side of Here". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  32. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Reimagining". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  33. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Bazaar". 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]