Synthesizing jazz with the improvised musical forms of South Asia, the Indo-Pak Coalition transcends any preconception of Indo-jazz fusion. Led by alto-saxophonist Mahanthappa, this trio with Pakistani-American guitarist Rez Abbasi and first-call percussionist Dan Weiss has turned heads internationally in both the jazz and world music scenes. Their debut album Apti (Innova, 2008) received excellent reviews from a variety of publications including the New York Times and Rolling Stone, and the group has played concerts and festivals around the world, most recently at the 2010 Monterey Jazz Festival.
NPR: Listen to broadcast of the Indo-Pak Coalition live at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival. link
"Numerous attempts at Indo-Jazz Fusions have been made in the past, but few have been as authoritative as Apti."
“A strong new record by a strong new quintet… The album’s premise
neatly erases itself, which proves something important: that Parker as
sound or energy or strategy may be all-important for Mr. Mahanthappa,
but the copyrightable or memorizable parts of his music are beside the
point.” THE NEW YORK TIMES
With “Bird Calls,” Rudresh Mahanthappa creates a contemporary view on one of the primal fathers of modern jazz: Charlie “Bird” Parker. In an intelligent and complex way Mahanthappa uses influences of Parker’s creative work in order to create a foundation for his own compositions and improvisations. “This project is not a tribute to Charlie Parker. It is a blissful devotion to a man who made so much possible,” noted Rudresh. As the Village Voice described it, “For Mahanthappa — who has long found inspiration in juxtapositions of global musics — Parker represents an approach, a freedom, and a logic, rather than a sound to imitate. You’ll hear worlds on’Bird Calls’, rather than the usual run-throughs of ‘Salt Peanuts’...If any New York night sounded better this year, we didn’t hear it.”
Few musicians share the ability of Rudresh Mahanthappa to embody the expansive possibilities of his music with his culture. The saxophonist/composer hybridizes progressive jazz and South Indian classical music in a fluid and forward-looking form reflecting his own experience growing up a second-generation Indian-American. Just as his personal experience is never wholly lived on one side of the hyphenate or the other, his music speaks in a voice dedicated to forging a new path forward.
Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation,” Mahanthappa has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, and numerous commissions. He has been named alto saxophonist of the year four of the past five years in Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics Polls and for five years running by the Jazz Journalists’ Association. In April 2013, he received a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, one of the most prominent arts awards in the world. In 2015, he was named a United States Artists Fellow.
Rudresh Mahanthappa to perform Bird Calls selections — January 27, 2017, The Dartmouth "In this respect, Mahanthappa teaches the way he plays — he combines different forms of music to create an entirely new piece. Mahanthappa remembers the exact moment of the inception of his interest in putting different sections of music together."