Hero Trio



With Hero Trio (Whirlwind), saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa honors his influences and inspirations by offering updates of their classic works. As he notes in the liners, after 15 albums of original music, he was more than ready to re-examine the music that set him on his path. Of course, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane are represented, as are Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Lee Konitz, all of whom worked in the sax-trio format Mahanthappa hews to here. But he also includes scrupulously jazzified tunes by Stevie Wonder and June Carter Cash, recognizing their imprint on his aesthetic from outside the jazz world. Mahanthappa offers a two-fer with his mash-up of “Barbados” and “26-2,” numbers by Parker and Coltrane, respectively. The leader’s piquant alto maintains an edgy urgency throughout, as he balances atop a jagged rhythm supplied by bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston. While borrowing from the stylistic vocabulary established by Bird and Trane, Mahanthappa is hardly imitative; he and his rhythm team take a uniquely 21st-century approach to the jazz canon.

Purchase Album:

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz