Rossi has never been someone of one-dimensional interests. The list of both jazz and classical compositions he has written is long and impressive." -- David Wildman, Boston Globe
Marc Rossi Group's latest release, Hidden Mandala, treats listeners to a hybrid of the South Indian and Jazz genres that is both refreshing and intriguing. The album opens with a fusion of Sanskrit lyrics sung in a traditional jazz scat. From here Rossi takes the listener on a series of original jazz compositions that are as much influenced by BILL EVANS and THELONIOUS MONK as they are by JOHN MCLAUGHLIN and BRAD MEHLDAU. More than just a series of chords over which to improvise, the song structure of each composition is full of well-placed melodies, harmonies and transitions--Rossi still provides plenty of room for deep solos and interpretations. This is Marc Rossi's unique gift as a master composer and player. While still definitely a jazz record, Rossi's deep knowledge of Hindustani and Carnatic Indian music makes appearances at often unexpected places, reminding the listener of the diverse sonic palate that is at play on this unique release. The core lineup of the group includes Lance Van Lenten on sax and flute, Bill Urmson on electric bass, and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and percussion. Rossi is also joined by renowned South Indian artists, Geetha Ramanathan Bennett and Prasanna, who have both contributed to Bollywood films and add a very special texture to this album.
Marc Rossi has been an essential pillar in the Boston music community since the early 1980's and extends his knowledge to the students and the Berklee College of Music as a full-time Professor of Piano and Jazz Composition. Rossi has also served as a sideman, composing, performing and recording extensively with a variety of other jazz groups including Stan Strickland and Ascension, the Jimmy Guiffre 4, Natraj, The Robert Moore Quartet, and George Russell's Living Time Orchestra, appearing on the latter's Grammy-nominated landmark Blue Note releases, The African Game and So What. Rossi has also has his classical/ symphonic compositions performed everywhere from Boston's Symphony Hall to Dvorak Hall in Prague. He is certainly on par with the greats of jazz piano, while his innovative approach of stylistic integration ensures that Hidden Mandala will appeal to intense jazzers and casual listeners alike.