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Zakir Hussein Crosscurrents at SF Jazz

Last Friday October 23 was the Debut of Crosscurrents, Zakir Hussein's new project with the legendary Dave Holland on bass, Chris Potter on soprano and tenor, guitarist Sanjay Divecha, Darjeeling born Luis Banks on keys, his son Gino Banks on trap drums, and of course the genius of Zakir on tabla. Ganesh Rajagopalan guested on karnatic violin and vocals. It was music of the highest order. While Indian music's influence on the West is well documented, this superb fusion was slanted on the West's influence on Indian jazz and movie music. Holland, who played with Miles as a 21 year old on Bitches Brew, and brought his London roommate John McLaughlin to Miles, has played in more diverse settings than perhaps anyone in music save Zakir. From Conference of the Birds, with Tony Braxton, to his own straight ahead groups, to duets with flamenco legend Pepe Habuchuela, Holland is that rare genius who is convincing and riveting in any genre he chooses. Looking to both the drummer and Zakir for accent points (4/4 and 7/4 are child's play for Zakir. I couldn't count the rythyms superimposed on top) the band played with a cofidence that belied this was a first gig with a rehearsal or two. The mutual admiration, and attentiveness, was awe inspiring.