Rajna Swaminathan: Of Agency and Abstraction
Percussionist/vocalist Rajna Swaminathan’s Of Agency and Abstraction delivers equally ambitious rewards. Swaminathan is part of a burgeoning Indo-jazz movement that includes Rudresh Mahanthappa, Amirtha Kidambi and Harvard professor and coproducer, Vijay Iyer. Swaminathan’s luminous debut offers a refreshingly spacious and relaxed fusion of South Indian (Carnatic) classical music and jazz. She provides a cosmic pulse on the barrel-shaped mrudangam drum as María Grand (tenor sax), Miles Okazaki (guitar), Stephan Crump (bass), Amir ElSaffar (trumpet) and her sister Anjna Swaminathan (violin/co-composer of “Offering”) shape mirthful and meditative constellations alongside her.