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Third World Love: New Blues (2008)

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Third World Love: New Blues How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Third World Love is comprised of three Israelis (trumpeter Avishai Cohen, pianist Yonathan Avishai and bassist Omer Avital) and a native New Yorker (drummer Daniel Freedman). The band has been promoted as a "world-fusion" group and its press clippings hail its appeal to young non-jazz audiences. But make no mistake: Third World Love is a group of serious jazz musicians, with the chops and the resumes to prove it. And while their music incorporates a multitude of Middle Eastern, African and Latin influences, it's blended together into a seamless, organic whole that sure sounds like jazz to these ears—maybe the sound of jazz to come.

Their fourth album continues this exploration of global sounds as a point of departure for some highly intricate, often rapturous improvisations, primarily by Cohen and Avishai. Avital's "Homeland" is a waltz that explores the many musical moods of his native Israel, while Freedman's "La Camerona" has a relaxed Spanish vibe. Cohen's spirited "Nature's Dance" and Avital's Middle-Eastern flavored "Hamina" have steady-driving grooves that should propel bodies out onto the dance floor.

Although there's some somber music here, there's not really much blues on New Blues until the final three numbers—the pianist's slow "Beauty of Death," Cohen's rousing title cut and, as if to dispel any doubts that they can play no-frills jazz, a confident closing take on the Duke Ellington rarity "So."

Track Listing: Eternal Flame; Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart; Homely Girl; Right Here Waiting; Looking for Linda; Room in Your Heart; Toy Soldiers; Sowing the Seeds of Love; Back to Life (However Do You Want Me); If Only I Could; Hangin' Tough; Be My Twin; Too Much; Stand Up for Your Love Rights; Nothing Has Been Proved; I Don't Want a Lover; I Want That Man; I Drove All Night; The Last of the Famous International Playboys.

Personnel: Avishai Cohen: trumpet, flugelhorn; Yonathan Avishai: piano; Omer Avital: bass; Daniel Freedman: drums.

Record Label: Anzic Records


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