Noam Lemish / George Marsh: Nightfall (2013)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Nightfall is the second recording of Israeli, Toronto-based, pianist Noam Lemish and veteran Bay Area drummer and educator George Marsh (after Yes And, 2008). The set of original compositions and improvisations feature the breadth of their musical universes. Lemish studied classical music and jazz in Israel, and continued his studies under the tutelage of composer W.A. Mathieu in Sonoma, California. He then went on to teach music in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan before settling in Toronto. Marshs' resume includes recordings with a diverse array of musiciansfrom minimalist pioneer composers Terry Riley and Pauline Oliveros, to country and blues legends Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, and innovative jazz composers such as guitarist John Abercrombie and pianist Denny Zeitlin.
The recordings were done in 2009 and 2011 in California. The interplay of the two is intuitive and tends to be lyrical, unhurried and melodic. Both listen deeply to every suggestive gesture of the other, selflessly feeding the instant, composed music. Marsh is a master colorist and can charge even the most spare and contemplative melody with light yet intense touches. His original pieces, "Waltz for Lucy" and "Cosmic Pulse," begin as deep, meditative tone poems and then blossom as subtle, hypnotic melodies. Lemish is a gifted storyteller as his "Heartland" shows, folding the nuanced drama with careful and patient care.
The two take more risks with the open ended improvisations, flirting with the rhythmic, catchy theme of "Cape Town," while searching for common sonic ground on the reserved "Reflection Direction" and "Ancestors" or forming a playful interplay on "Dinner Time" till reaching the right groove. As on their debut, the duo plays a composition by the late bassist, composer and educator, Mel Graves, who taught Lemish. This time it is the beautiful "Waltz for Pamela," the last piece that Graves wrote.
Nightfall is an inspiring lesson in deep listening.
Track Listing: Zero Killed (Ok); Waltz for Lucy; In Memoriam; Holy Cow; Cape Town;
Reflection Direction; Waiting; Welcome; Heartland; Dinner Time;
Ancestors; Arrival; Waltz for Pamela; Cosmic Pulse.
Personnel: Noam Lemish: piano; George Marsh: drums, percussion.
Record Label: Self Produced