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Tamir Hendelman: Destinations (2010)

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Tamir Hendelman: Destinations How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Well recognized for 10 years as an important member of drummer Jeff Hamilton
Jeff Hamilton
Jeff Hamilton
b.1953
drums
's Trio and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
b.1995
band/orchestra
, pianist Tamir Hendelman has also gained recognition as an accompanist for singers such as Tierney Sutton
Tierney Sutton
Tierney Sutton
b.1963
vocalist
. As well, he is a go-to pianist for numerous sessions with top musicians.

After the success of his first trio recording, Playground (Swing Brothers, 2008), Destinations appears on a larger label, Resonance. Here, Hendelman's trio features drummer Lewis Nash
Lewis Nash
Lewis Nash
b.1958
drums
—a great drummer who, standing out all the way, is a commanding force, whether driving the group explosively forward, providing delicate shading with his brushes, or trading licks with his cohorts, In turn, bassist Marco Panascia makes a major contribution.

Not to be outshone, Hendelman is the guiding hand, arranging new takes on familiar tunes and impressing with two originals. A technically brilliant stylist, his playing is always subtly tasteful; eschewing the dazzling bombast of some of today's' younger pianists, his guiding lights are Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
and Bill Charlap
Bill Charlap
Bill Charlap
b.1966
piano
.

Hendelman began studying piano at the age of six, in Tel Aviv, in his native Israel. Moving to the United States in 1984, at the age of 12, he went on to win several awards, and has worked with artists including Harry Allen
Harry Allen
Harry Allen
b.1966
saxophone
, Teddy Edwards
Teddy Edwards
Teddy Edwards
1924 - 2003
sax, tenor
, Warren Vache
Warren Vache
Warren Vache
b.1951
cornet
, and Houston Person
Houston Person
Houston Person
b.1934
sax, tenor
.

"Wrap Yourself In Dreams" starts the CD, with a galloping intro that Hendelman reins in to become a satisfying bluesy cadence. Clarinet legend Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
Benny Goodman
1909 - 1986
clarinet
originally put his stamp on "Soft Winds"; here, it becomes imprinted with Nash's easygoing brush work, supporting Hendelman's relaxed groove. Towards the end, Panascia sets in, gracefully exchange bars with the drummer.

Displaying his wide range, Hendelman uses Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin" as a point of creative departure, its climax an aural waterfall of notes. Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
's "My Song" follow, retaining the pensive mood. Undauntedly, Hendelman takes on this very affecting tune, its lovely melody building to Panascia's bowed bass solo, played with deep feeling.

Hendelman's two originals are also noteworthy. "Israeli Waltz," his ode to his homeland, captures the wildness of the north country, while "Babushka" (grandmother) evokes the memory of his Polish immigrant grandmother with a stately old world lilt.

The real show-stopper, though, is "BQE," Makoto Ozone
Makoto Ozone
Makoto Ozone
b.1961
piano
's ode to the Queens Expressway in New York. Hendelman's version is truly like a train hurtling down the tracks, with Nash at the controls, his drumsticks providing power as he steers it to the final stop.

From Lois P Jones's poem included in the liner notes, Hendelman invites: "Come with me, from stone to star, it isn't far. The sun will rise in a golden note and blow it all away." Destinations blew me away, note by note.


Track Listing: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; Passarim; Soft Winds; Le Tombeau de Couperin; My Song; You Stepped Out of a Dream; Israeli Waltz.

Personnel: Tamir Hendelman: piano; Marco Parascia: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.

Record Label: Resonance Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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