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Rez Abbasi's Invocation featuring Greg Osby 

When: Tue., May 17, 8 p.m. 2011
Price: $20

Like many jazz musicians, RezAbbasi is fixated on the idea of tapping into his roots. A few years ago the Pakistani-American guitarist began steeping himself in Qawaali, a form of praise music from his home country that he describes as deeply "groove-based" -- not in the funky, rhythmic sense of the word "groove," but in the "trance-like" sense. He found a way to explore it within a jazz context, using his current quintet --- with saxophonist Greg Osby, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss -- as a vehicle. The group graces Yoshi's this week to play Abassi's new six-song suite, Invocation, which he composed with a grant from the organization Chamber Music America. The record, which drops in October, will mix two seemingly antithetical styles: jazz swing and visceral, eastern trance. Abassi said he's proud of the result. At OaklandYoshi's (510 Embarcadero West, Oakland) Tuesday, May 17. 8 p.m., $20.

— Rachel Swan


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