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Rez Abbasi discusses a new collaboration with harpist Isabelle Olivier, and their new album OASIS.

Rez Abbasi discusses a new collaboration with harpist Isabelle Olivier, and their new album OASIS.

Photo by John Rogers.

”Abbasi is living, breathing proof that jazz music can be as vital and boundary-pushing as ever.”– All About Jazz

"Olivier develops a very recognizable style from the first notes of her fascinating and rare instrument."  – Liberation

OASIS, the new recording from the award-winning guitarist Rez Abbasi and the captivating French harpist Isabelle Olivier, makes the pairing of their respected instruments sound predestined. The confluence between harp and guitar offers unique opportunities in harmony, rhythm and texture, which they magnificently capture and magnify in order to create a personal sound.

Sunday, October 20, Afternoon master class and duo concert at Bloom School of Jazz, 226 S. Wabash Avenue, Suite 700, Chicago. For information visit

Wednesday, October 23, 8:30 p.m. Trio Concert with drummer Ernie Adams at Old Town School of Folk Music,4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.  Free.  For information call 773-728-6000 or visit


The album will be released November 15, 2019 on Enja/Yellowbird. Joining the two highly empathetic leaders for the recording are gifted percussionists Prabhu Edouard on tabla and David Paycha on drums. Abbasi and Olivier will also present CD release concerts in Paris, Washington, DC and New York City. Together the texture of the quartet creates a sanctuary of sound, but along with the compositional and arranging prowess of both leaders, the collective flourishes in originating a bold statement. During the opening Abbasi arrangement of the well-known Richard Rodgers song “My Favorite Things,” we get a firm sense of what will proceed. Along with their free spirited willingness to traverse the avant-garde, they remain sensitive to each other and all musical elements. Other tracks such as Olivier’s “Timeline” convey a filmlike quality and push her use of electronics, while Abbasi’s harmonically bountiful “Stepping Stone” echoes with classical influence.

Throughout OASIS (an acronym for Olivier Abbasi Sound In Sound), the music surges with a uniquely propulsive groove, with sinuous melodies that follow surprising, exotic contours. As soloists, each member displays virtuosity without overbearing the music. Collective improvisations also abound with breathtaking results. As a conceptual team, Abbasi and Olivier are able to combine their compositional spheres to create a varied yet singular program of music.


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