Rudresh Mahanthappa At The Side Door

Special To The Courant

Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa has done some dynamic collaborations. He worked with South Indian saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, who played the horn in Carnatic music, which uses pitch bending and quarter-tones that are generally a challenge — if not an impossibility — on the instrument.

Later he worked with fellow alto player Bunky Green. His 2015 record "Bird Calls," his most recent, used the frenetic high-flying solos of Charlie Parker and other structures from Bird as the creative spark for album's worth of bold material. And, as much as Mahanthappa has immersed himself in the giants of improvised music from a previous generation, he's also explored new realms of creative music with peer composers and improvisers like Steve Lehman and Vijay Iyer. Mahanthappa can nerd out with the best of them, but his playing and writing have juice and muscle. He makes heady music, but it never seems like a cerebral exercise.

Rudresh Mahanthappa and his quartet, with stellar trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, play at The Side Door, 85 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Thursday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35. 860-434-0886 and  

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