Israeli musicians are now playing a vital role in the expanding and ever-changing world of improvisation composition. The musicians on the recordings discussed here have utilized a history of developments and then reimagined new approaches. So it is music that we've heard before but... not really. The notion of an Israeli identity is not so vividly apparent here; what unites them with each other and with new players and writers around the globe is this passion to create new moments, every one. The Yitzhak Yedid session utilizes the oud and Jewish scales and melodies but even it has more to do with refiguring sounds and textures than it actually does with some kind of Israeli or Jewish identity.
Albert Beger was born in Turkey but emigrated to Israel at age three. His sax and flute playing have been influenced by jazz, rock and alternative styles and his new quartet album Big Mother
reflects how much he's heard. He plays a tenor in a style clearly informed by Trane, Rollins and Ornette but there's a refined and different sense of composition and shape. The multi-textured title tune beautifully demonstrates what Beger is doingfinding a kind of divinity in what he calls "the art of the arts, the art of the moment."
Ambition and a kind of expansive Jewishness colors the very beautifully choreographed suite for Oud Bass Piano Trio
by Yitzhak Yedid. The composer calls it "an authentic expression of new music..." that "creates a unique confluence of Jewish musical styles and prayers with Arabic music, Western music and jazz vernacular." It's a nearly 73-minute work which suggests a nationalism that is truly international in its scope and in its sense of invitation and inclusiveness.
The JC Jones recording is something else altogether. Jones has gone back to music that he's recorded over the years and reorganized and reassembled the originals. "ReComp
," says Jones, "involves the deconstruction, selection, rearrangement and reconstruction of the material. ...it radically affects the feeling and flow of the music." He works in different configurations and this audacious experiment in reordering gives a new play to the improvisations of his cohorts (mostly Israeli, but bassist Avishai Cohen and saxophonist Ned Rothenberg are more well known here). This is a very personal and subjective approach on the part of the artist and it completely and remarkably changes the sense of possibilities.
So Israel is most certainly a place where the notion of self-expression in new-sounding music is vigorously thriving.
Tracks and Personnel Big Mother
Tracks: The One; Yellow; Tales Of Beelzebub; Point Of No Return; Big Mother; The One For Hope.
Personnel: Albert Beger: tenor saxophone; Aviran Ben Naim: piano; Gabriel Meir: bass; Yoav Zohar: drums. Suite in Five Movements
Tracks: First Movement; Second Movement; Third Movement; Fourth Movement; Fifth Movement.
Personnel: Mikhail Moroun: oud; Ora Boasson Horev: double-bass; Yitzhak Yedid: piano. ReComp
Tracks: Excited Strings; Avishai Cohen & J.C. Jones; Eyal Maoz & J.C. Jones; Between the Strings Trio; Ned Rothenberg & J.C. Jones; Excited Strings; Ariel and J. C. Jones; Rubin Jones Gotesman Trio; Steve Horenstein & J.C. Jones; Excited Strings; Between the Strings Trio