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Rez Abassi at the Inaugural Django's Birthday Festival, Berkeley, CA 1/25/2019

jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
edited January 21 in North America Posts: 538
Ok, you're thinking who? Right, nobody I've talked to has ever heard of Rez Abassi. He has a web site and the only mention of Django is on his schedule. In FB discussions with the Freight & Salvage booking agent, Peter Williams, he stated that he wanted to throw a "curve" with this booking, which is Rez learning a set of Django's music. Rhythm Future and the Gypsy Chix follow. Other acts for the 3 day fest include Boulou and Elios Ferre, HCSF, Barrio Manouche, John Jorgenson with Martin Taylor, etc. I'm all for introducing a new performer with a related style, but I'm not sure about Rez. Unfortunately, this would be the only night I could attend and I've seen most of the other performers. Any thoughts?
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Comments

  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 91
    Never heard of Rez? Time to out from under the Gypsy Jazz rock. The guy is literally one of the most interesting players in jazz today.
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 538
    jeffmatz wrote: »
    Never heard of Rez? Time to out from under the Gypsy Jazz rock.
    Yay! We've discovered a Rez fan here on Djangobooks. Somebody so passionate that they can't bother to insert verbs into their comments. Thanks to your reply, jeffmatz, I've investigated further, and found a YouTube video that is quite good. I also have to compliment Rez on his choice of keyboard players, Vijay Iyer. However, I still think he might be out of place at a Djangofest event, at least for my taste.
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 91
    That did come off as a bit snippy, didn't it? I apologize, it was intended to be more funny, but you can't "hear" an internet comment...I do think though sometimes in jazz in general, you get caught up in a particular style and a lot of good things pass you by.

    Will Rez be out of place? Maybe that's a good thing.
    steffo
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 538
    @jeffmatz A little snippy, perhaps, but I AM a bit over the top with GJ. BTW, I enjoyed your playing on YouTube.
  • jeffmatzjeffmatz ChicagoNew
    Posts: 91
    Thanks! I'm in a weird spot in my guitar playing life...27 years into it, I've figured out that a SelMac style guitar is probably the perfect instrument for me...but I have no desire to play only "gypsy jazz."

    So basically, I'm screwed;)
    Jim Kaznosky
  • edited January 23 Posts: 2,431
    I'll come out and say it, I've been living under the GJ rock for many years now.

    I can hear Django repertoire sound great in hands of a killer jazz player like Rez. First time I heard Koran Agan, that's what he was doing. A jazz trio (guitar, bass and drums) playing Django songs. Koran was using his Shopis built guitar but played with a straight ahead voice, it was beautiful. If Rez did something like that, I'd love to be able to hear it.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • There's room for all in my inn. I prefer Joe Pass's take on Django tunes (For Django) more than I do most of the modern GJ cats. Open ears, open minds, open hearts...
  • Brad HermanBrad Herman San Francisco, CANew JWC Modele Jazz, Stankevicius Alena, Alexander Polyakov Selmer #6
    Posts: 115
    I was at the show and it was interesting to say the least. Rez is a phenomenal player and obviously highly skilled. Unfortunately the venue was having major sound issues with him and you couldn't hear him at all during the first song because his acoustic wasn't going through the mains or his monitors. It took a while and he was super frustrated. It was also a pretty low turnout (when the other 2 nights oversold) and getting late so a lot of people were walking out. Eventually he had to settle for plugging into a Fender amp and played through that and he wasn't too happy about it. The band was great and again, Rez is a phenomenal player, but overall it was probably my least favorite show of the weekend (I went to them all). It was very new-age, jazz fusion style takes on Django tunes and I felt like the music didn't fully gel together. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt though due to the sound issues, waning crowd, and newness to the material.
    They're going into the studio this week, I believe, to record a whole album of their Django interpretations so I'm excited to see how they sound with the studio treatment.
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 538
    Was he playing before or after Rhythm Future? I'm glad I didn't go.
  • Brad HermanBrad Herman San Francisco, CANew JWC Modele Jazz, Stankevicius Alena, Alexander Polyakov Selmer #6
    Posts: 115
    jonpowl wrote: »
    Was he playing before or after Rhythm Future? I'm glad I didn't go.

    He was after Rhythm Future... It was Gypsy Chix, Rhythm Future, and then Rez. We really enjoyed the Gypsy Chix. Watching Catherine "Cajounne" Girard on the modified washboard was worth the price of admission alone.

    Rhtythm Future killed it. We were blown away at the level of talent in that group. Mind blowing to me how young most of the band is and excited to see what they'll be like in a decade when they're already world class. Their masterclass was also very, very good. Lots of great information there about practicing and improving and playing with others.
    AndyW
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