White Night Music Marathon in Tel Aviv
Tchicai was accompanied by pianist John Bostock and the young drummer Noam David, a Steve Horenstein disciple. He introduced his original piece, "Berlin Wall," written "before their wall fell down," relating it to the Israeli Separation Wall, and that was the only political statement throughout this marathon. He continued with "Monk's Dream," adding his own lyrics to Monk's standard:
Whenever the night brings a dream along
and whether the past, present or future holds on
all you can ever ask for, is learning the dream
that takes you out of your mind
He concluded with a heartfelt and lyrical interpretation of a composition by the late South African bassist Johnny Dyani, a former collaborator.
The Tel Aviv Art Ensemble devoted itself to two totally compositional approaches. Maya Dunietz's composition played with the normative conception of watching and listening to a concert, scattering the Ensemble players around the hall. They all played while facing the walls, than in couples and trios until they crowded around the vibes of Zvi Joffe. Horenstein's composition was based around Noam David's drumming pattern and featured highly disciplined and precise role games by most of the ensemble players.
Maybe due to insufficient rehearsal, or perhaps just unripe ideas, the two compositions sounded like academic exercises, failing to expose the potential of this Ensemble. Horenstein's composition for his sax trio with Tchicai and Beger, augmented by O'Leary, David and percussionist Jeffrey Kovalsky, was more interesting. The uncompromising personalities of Tchicai and Beger added jagged edges to Horenstein's angry shouts on the baritone sax.
Israeli saxophonist Assif Tsahar has been honing his skills as a drummer lately. After playing with some of the greatest drummers today, it is clear that he has done his homework. He knows how to create useful dynamics and a solid groove, as well as how to push a band. He was accompanied by pianist Daniel Sarid, who soon got into an inspired Cecil Taylor-like rolling clusters mode, and bassist Shmil Frankel, who played diligently all over the instrument. Their short set emphasized the close affinity and immediate interplay of all the members of this ad-hoc trio.
The duo of Ariel Shibolet on soprano sax and Yoram Lachish on oboe featured two different and complementary attitudes. Shibolet's playing is much more muscular. His mastery of circular breathing methods added more and more layers to his playing, echoing and commenting on his ideas. On the other hand, Lachish's playing was more ethereal and fragmented, but always attentive to Shibolet's cues.
This long night concluded with one of the first performances by the new Chameleon TrioDvir Katz (flute) and Nitai Levi (clarinets), both swirled around the assured playing of Ora Boasson-Horev (bass). Their two pieces featured influences from modern music, chamber jazz and some snippets from progressive rock. Their patient and serious dedication to the music, as well as some inspired playing by all three players, captivated the attention of the audience and was a beautiful ending for this enchanting evening.
See Ronen Hirsch's photos of White Night on the web.