19th December 2017: “A genre-bending work of uncommon originality.” ★★★★ Jazz Journal – world-wide review round up for Rez Abbasi’s ‘Unfiltered Universe’ ft Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Johannes Weidenmueller, Dan Weiss and guest Elizabeth Mikhael

Completing a trilogy of albums whose compositions are infused with the various, colorful strands of traditional music from his Pakistani/Indian homeland, New York guitarist Rez Abbasi’s Unfiltered Universe presents the line-up of pianist Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss, plus guest appearances from renowned classical cellist Elizabeth Mikhael. Previous releases Things to Come and Suno Suno focused, respectively, on Hindustani and Qawwali music, whereas this collection of seven new numbers explores and embraces the more rhythmically exuberant, South Asian elements of Carnatic instrumental music.

Here are the latest press highlights for Unfiltered Universe that have come in from the US, UK and rest of Europe:

“Abbasi and his like-minded collaborators systematically unpick their hard-wired instincts and create a genre-bending work of uncommon originality.”
★★★★ Jazz Journal

“The South Asian elements of Unfiltered Universe are woven into in the music’s underlying rhythms, melodic structures and phraseology… Highlights include the angular opener ‘Propensity’; the sometimes pensive, sometimes wild title track; and the cerebral-meets-whimsical ‘Thin-King’.
DownBeat Magazine (Editors Pick)(scroll down for image)

“Complex, evocative and enigmatic.”
★★★★½ Kathodik (IT) (full review)

“Thrills aplenty.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

“Intense, powerful music with a distinctive personality.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“True fusion, taking in all aspects of Abbasi’s personality.”

“An astounding richness of rhythms and timbres.”
Image HI Fi (CH)

“Complex structures of compositions and arrangements, a never-ending atmosphere of spontaneous development,surprises and sudden twists… This is modern jazz rock or fusion at its finest!”
Musik an Sich

“An adventure, a mysterious journey through the world of music, marked by a variety of impressions and influences.”
Musik Zirkus

“Strong music carried by an excellent rhythm section.”
Culture Jazz (FR) (full review)

“Fusing Indian music and jazz with hints of classical.”
Le Souffle Bleu (FR) (full review)

“Complex, hard-driving modern jazz that frequently tips over into chopstastic fusion.”
Stereogum (full review)

“The sound is certainly unique; it’s pensive jazz, in no hurry to develop despite the often skittery grooves… Often dissonant, too, on terms both harmonic and rhythmic.”
Bandcamp Daily (full review) 

“He’s [Abbasi] breathed in much through his deep research into Carnatic music tradition, and breathes it out again informed by his progressive jazz DNA.”
Something Else Reviews (full review)

“The polyrhythmic ideas bear witness to intensive study of West African and South Asian music.”
Stereo (DE)

 “A searching, melodic exploration of the rhythmic and improvisational empathy between Indian music and jazz.”
CD Aktuell

“Creative, melodious, intense and eclectic.”
Jazz Zeitung

“Rousingly powerful, rich in detail and striking… A fusion of South Indian, rock and improvised jazz music.”
Leipziger Volkszeitung

“Emphatically powerful and intense.”
Jazz Podium

“Iyer’s playing is powerful and imaginative throughout the record; Mahanthappa and Abbasi are dazzling.”
London Jazz (full review)

“Abbasi brings an open-border fluidity to his music without forsaking any aspect of his roots.”
WGBO (full review)