’Out of Genre’, the solo debut album from distinguished sitarist Jonathan Mayer,spans world, jazz and classical genres. Featuring jazz trumpet legend Kenny Wheeler, the program includes the premiere recording of sitar transcriptions of works by J.S. Bach. Son of the late composer and co-founder of Indo-Jazz Fusions John Mayer, Jonathan studied sitar with Clem Alford (the first ever European sitar player), Pandit Subroto Roy Chowdhury of Senia Gharana and Wajahat Khan (direct descendent of Mia Tansen the great musician, one of the nine jewels in Moghul court of Emperor Akbar). He also studied composition with his father and later with Andrew Downes at the Birmingham Conservatoire. ’Out of Genre’ also features the first ever recording of the newly invented pygmy sitar.
“…British player Jonathan Mayer transforms the Western Baroque notes into something completely different - and no less fascinating to listen to over and over again… This disorienting, ear-opening debut album is a breath of fresh musical air.” ****
The Toronto Star
“Jonathan’s sitar chops, and they are solid, come from years of study… That’s not to say Mayer can’t play the heck out of his instrument… Jonathan is still able to set up an instrumental world and palette that plays to Bach’s wonderful textures… for those who wish to make the trek there are rewards." *****
“…Mayer clearly knows what he is doing with the difficult instrument… There’s plenty of exotic work here with various non-Western scales and rhythmic structures, but it all works quite well with a strong jazz esthetic and doesn’t seem a gimmick.” *****
“Out of Genre is a sitar-specific work of consolidation and advance… Much history in the making here.” ****
“…I was won over by the three pieces [Bach] here… this is an unusual and intriguing album that pushes at the limits of what we expect from the sitar.” ***