Mantra Revealed

Mantra Revealed

At peace between two continents
Marc Rossi
Marc Rossi
Lance Van Lenten
Bill Urmson
Mauricio Zottarelli
Geetha Ramanathan Bennett
Bruce Arnold
Catalog Number: 


Release Date: 
Jan 31, 2012
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Since it began, jazz has been—like America itself—a place where disparate and diverse streams have met as they flow towards the ocean. Consider Boston-based pianist/composer Marc Rossi and the members of the Marc Rossi Group as ambassadors from an exotic locale where the dizzying modal runs of South and North Indian music swirl and blend with jazz and Afro-Latin forms. These deep, rich waters have nourished musicians before; think of Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Impressions of Eurasia or Ellington’s Far East Suite. Think of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans collaboration Sketches of Spain or the Mahavishnu Orchestra. John McLaughlin himself, the grand master of eastern jazz fusion, commenting on Rossi’s composition and performance calls the work:

    “very nice indeed!”

With Mantra Revealed, Rossi continues the work he began on Hidden Mandala: bearing the standard for pan-Indian jazz fusion into the present tense and beyond.

As a student of both Hindustani and Carnatic Indian music and a professor of piano and jazz composition at Berklee College of Music, Rossi has been a vital part of the Boston music scene for the past two decades, and he’s assembled an all-star cast for Mantra Revealed. Lance Van Lenten (saxophone and flute), Bill Urmson (electric bass), Mauricio Zottarelli (drums), and Rossi himself make up the core Marc Rossi Group, supplemented by Prassana’s adventurous, Indian-inflected guitar on opener “Jazz Impressions of a Kriti,” the sumptuous voice of Geetha Ramanathan Bennett, and the furious fret work of Bruce Arnold.

The album’s rich panoply of colors and textures comes from the interplay of Rossi’s own distinctive compositions and the players’ absorbing improvisational skills. It’s become commonplace to refer to an album as a “journey” these days, but few navigate a path as wide-ranging, engaging and multi-hued as Mantra Revealed.


“Marc Rossi is the hip guru of jazz-Indian fusion. [He combines] the tightness and precision of Indian improvisation with the freedom of jazz expression."
—Richard Stoltzman, Grammy winning clarinet soloist.

“Pianist Marc Rossi[’s] music is high energy, high concept and high culture.”
—Walter Kolosky

“Marc’s music reflects possibilities of cultural union and integration—a clear sign of hope for the future.”
—Danilo Perez, Grammy-winning pianist

“Marc Rossi brings [a fresh] approach to the traditions of George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre, [and] Gil Evans. His music incorporates highly complex structures that manage to be lyrical and uplifting.”
—Lewis Porter, jazz historian/pianist

“Rossi’s range of expression is rich—from indigo skies and gold silk, to cosmic and transcendent—and the experience thoroughly invigorating.”
—Fred Bouchard

"[E]lectric slide guitar playing Indian style with waterfall formed fret-movements … Indian-styled rhythmic singing improvisations mixed in style with jazz styled wordless voice/word-like improvisation … [A]n almost symphonic prog(rock) feeling to the arrangements … [P]owerful grooviness." [FULL ARTICLE]
Gerald Van Waes 

"[A] captivating look at the possibilities of inventive hybridization when in the hands of an amazingly gifted artist. Rossi is a visionary that would seem to hear the possibilities of this hybrid in ways that others may not as easily discover … [T]he orchestration is pulled off with amazing skill and a captivating sonic depth of field. Others have tried various forms of jazz-indian fusion with not near the same accessible result. With Mantra Revealed, there is no doubt that Rossi's compositional skills are as solid as they come especially in the arrangements which are brimming with vitality and color but manage to hold an even cultural base so effortlessly. An incredibly impressive result given the complexity of the music and compositions presented here." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Brent Black 

"Mantra Revealed gives us much to experience, admire, and enjoy [and] the finely enthusiastic performances … give the music depth and drive. 'Jazz Impression of a Kriti' starts off the program with great strength, taking an Indian Kriti and transforming it into a well-turned fusion onslaught with some remarkable guitar work by Prasanna, who plays a nuanced solo that is both informed by traditional Indian phrasing and blazes beyond it into a realm where it mixes with rock and jazz in a post-McLaughlin fashion. The album continues on with an interesting cornucopia of ornate fusion compositions that bring in at times various well-conceived Indo-fused elements, as well as Afro-jazz and a hint of Brazilian jazz. [T]here are spots of sheer brilliance [and] Rossi is a composer-arranger of great promise and definite talent." [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards 

ALL ABOUT JAZZ “[A] genre-hopping brew of Indo-jazz, fusion and modern jazz … [M]emorable themes seamlessly coalesce with synchronous excursions into Eastern modalities and other offshoots. An unanticipated surprise for 2012, Mantra Revealed invokes a thrusting spiritual presence that hovers throughout the briskly moving parts." —Glenn Astarita

“Accessible music, but with a dash of spices that make the release feel like an open air market of sounds and enticements.” [FULL ARTICLE]
—George W. Harris