Itamar Erez & Yshai Afterman: New Dawn (2013)
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Israeli guitarist-pianist Itamar Erez, member of American- Turkish Sufi multi-instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek band, revisits some of his best compositions in an intimate setting in his album New Dawn, a duo with fellow Israeli percussionist Yshai Afterman, a disciple of master Israeli percussionist Zohar Fresco. Tough Erez is the composer of all the pieces, except Afterman solo, the two share equal leading roles, demonstrating an almost telepathic interplay.
Most of the pieces were recorded on Erez previous albums with his Adama Ensemble (Desert song and Hommage, 2005 and 2010). The two cover Erez musical tributes to his musical heroes, Tekbilek, Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem and Brazilian guitarist-pianist Egberto Gismonti. "Anouar" is the most interesting of these three. Erez plays the piano, he deliberately doesn't attempt to recreate Brahem's highly personal touch of the oud on his guitar, and abstracts on Brahem's Andalusian roots with a dense, nuanced melody that enriches Brahem's skeletal lines with a suggestion for almost symphonic arrangement for Brahem's arresting melodies.
Erez is a master melodic composer as featured in the Spanish-tinged solo of him "Guajira," sketching leisurely a memorable theme, or on the cover of traditional Sephardic "La Rosa Enflorece," where his elegant and reserved guitar work demonstrated the timeless qualities of this tune. Spanish Harmonica player Antonio Serrano, member of guitarist Paco De Lucia, guests on "New Dawn" and "Lisa," a beautiful love song to Erez wife, adding shiny colors to these strong melodies. Afterman anchors Erez's melodies in a Middle-EasternMediterranean atmosphere, best featured on "Desert Song," now sound as a hypnotic Bedouin song and not as a chamber world music composition that is inspired by Oregon, as on its original version.
Track Listing: Omar'a; Anouar; New Dawn; Desert Song; Guajira; La rosa Enflorence;
Lisa; Into the Fire; Morning Song; Hommage; New Dawn.
Personnel: Itamar Erez: guitar (1,3,4, 5,6,8,9,10,11), piano (2,7); Yshai Afterman:
percussion (1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10), voice (10); Antonio Serrano: harmonica
Record Label: Self Produced