((Rafiq Bhatia)) Band Profile and Upcoming Los Angeles Concerts - Oh My Rockness

Rafiq Bhatia is a composer and guitarist who makes jazz. Clarification: he makes good jazz. Jazz can be terrible. Clarification #2: jazz can also be the best thing in the entire world. But let's not get too carried away with the pendulum shifts. Back to Rafiq.

Rafiq Bhatia makes forward seeking, precisely meandering jazz that takes what the greats of jazz's storied past have given us (man, I wish I were alive in NYC in 1959) and pushes it past all the lame stuff that followed (jazz should never be anyone's "safe" choice or be involved in any way with the words "fusion" or "funky") and settles it nicely into a territory that feels new. (It also feels like some of those old Thrill Jockey bands, but that ruins that "new" theme I'm trying to establish here.)

There's definitely a math-rock vibe going on, too. You know, finger-picking and noodling and rhythms that seemingly can't make up their mind but actually know exactly what they're doing. You like math-rock, right? Of course you do. So fine. Consider Rafiq Bhatia more of a jazz-math-rock hybrid ("hybrid," my friend, is very different from "fusion") if that makes you feel better about testing this out. He also sounds like Storm & Stress. Remember that Battles/Don Cab/Tanlines affiliated band? I remember them fondly.

Anyway, here's a Rafiq Bhatia jam for you. Listen to it. You'll see that whatever this ultimately is - it certainly ain't safe.

Published October 11, 2012



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