Marc Rossi: Fatwa In Carbondale


Fatwa In Carbondale


Marc Rossi (piano)


Hidden Mandala (Gravity Records 4001)

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Marc Rossi (piano),

Lance Van Lenten (flute), Bill Urmson (electric bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums, percussion)


Composed by Marc Rossi


Recorded: Boston, MA, August & November, 2004


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

A fulltime professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Marc Rossi's major influences have included George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre (with both of whom he performed), and he has also studied Carnatic and Hindustani Indian music. The selections on Hidden Mandala are all intriguing fusions of jazz and South Indian music, except for "Fatwa in Carbondale," which is a rousing Afro-Cuban jam with a melody based on George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept. For sheer entertainment value, "Fatwa" is the go-to track. The incongruous title was inspired by Rossi's facetious idea that American-born Sufi leader Sheik Din Dayeni (aka Dean Greenberg), "whose spiritual precepts I admire, might issue a fatwa [stern religious edict] to his community."

Rossi's modal vamp intro sets up Van Lenten's breezy flute reading of the enticing theme. Van Lenten's richly intoned and commanding solo is propelled by Rossi's forceful montuno. The pianist follows with a stirring solo of his own that is bolstered by his superbly executed left-hand Latin-rhythm patterns. Urmson's expressive electric bass improv comes next, before the deck is cleared for Zottarelli, who, aided by another insistent Rossi montuno, delivers a splendidly developed, variegated drum solo. Rossi proves here that he is just as comfortable frolicking in Latin America as elsewhere he is in South India, but this composition deserved a better, or more appropriate, title.

Reviewer: Scott Albin


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