Really amazing little jazz-guitar album here, the ninth from Pakistan-born Abbasi, teamed up here for the first time both with Japanese drummer Satoshi Takeishi and impulse-driven bassplayer John Hebert. The songs are placid and breezy in their way, fascinating backgrounds that just sort of swirl around the listener in their unique Indian-influenced splendor, even becoming slightly guitar-tronica when he’s working out with the echo-back effect. The short version might be “Keith Jarrett in an opium den, with occasional bursts of Mingus,” the latter bit referencing Takeishi’s stubborn, discordant but very fitting drumming, which is the only thing that’s actually noisy here. Casual listeners will find this a drowsy, nicely immersive relaxation disk, and wonks will be amazed at some of Abbasi’s technical moves. A great one.
Grade: A+ — Eric W. Saeger